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Maritime Sector is catalyst to economic recovery, says Gov Okowa

…As Dakuku calls Nigerian Seafarers amongst World Best

Director General, Nigerian
Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside in a
handshake with the Deputy Governor, Delta State, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro
during the 2018 Day of the Seafarers with the theme: “seafarers wellbeing” held
in Warri, Delta State

The Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has
stated that the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nigerian economy depends
largely on the maritime sector as over 90 per cent of the world trade are
transported through the sea.

Senator Okowa who made this remarks on Monday in his
keynote address during the 2018 Day of the Seafarers celebration with the
theme; “seafarers’ wellbeing” held in Warri, Delta State organized by the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other maritime
Agencies also commended NIMASA for its efforts and determination to ensure that
Nigeria is reckoned with in the international maritime domain.  
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy
Governor of the state, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro further applauded the
initiative of the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU),
which is the first specialized in Africa and expressed the readiness of the
State to partner the Agency in actualizing the vision behind the establishment
of the institution.
a State, we are prepared to support and partner NIMASA and the Federal
Government of Nigeria to ensure the underlying motive of establishing the
Maritime University is achieved; we are also certain that the University
undoubtedly will be a source of training more seafarers and adding more
commercial value to the Nigerian economy,”
 the Governor
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Director General
of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku
Peterside noted that the Nigerian seafarers ranks among the best in the world
and can favourably compete with their foreign counterparts.
Accordingly, the DG said this is why the Agency in the
past few years embarked on the training and retraining of Nigerian Seafarers
and Cadets in specialized maritime courses both locally and internationally,
which is aimed at enhancing their competences and employability.
Speaking further, Dr. Peterside who reiterated the
Agency’s commitment to ensuring a better living condition for the seafarers in
line with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work Agenda gave
the assurance that the Agency will continue to make issues concerning the
seafarers a priority.
He also highlighted the importance of the ILO’s
Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 which he said Nigerian ratified in 2013,
stating that it made adequate provisions for seafarers’ welfare which if fully
implemented will also guarantee their wellbeing. “As the competent
authority for the implementation of all IMO and ILO conventions, NIMASA has
diligently commenced the implementation of the convention in Nigeria from the
time it entered into force in 2014 till date, through the conduct of port and
flag inspections on board vessels operating in our waters,”
 the DG
While acknowledging the fact that the Nigerian
seafarers are faced with lots of challenges that are work related, Dr.
Peterside used the opportunity to urge all employers to ensure the promotion of
ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, which aims at promoting the workers mental health and
Meanwhile, he also stated that as part of the Agency’s
commitment to training and retraining of the seafarers to enhance
professionalism in the sector, the Agency has so far trained over 2000 cadets
under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP). This is in addition
to those who have already undergone their mandatory sea time training, 500 have
been earmarked for sea time training in 2018 fiscal year, while another 500
will undergo the training in 2019.
Dr. Peterside also said that 150 fresh cadets will
benefit from the programme under the NSDP which will commence in the next
academic session.
On the other hand, the Agency in May this year
facilitated the training of 370 Nigerian seafarers in relevant courses leading
to certifications on Standards of Training Certifications (STCW), Oil Tanker
Familiarization, Security Awareness (ISPS) Code, Proficiency in Survival Craft
and Rescue Boats (PSCRB) and Dynamic Positioning.
Also, he hinted that another 560 Dockworkers
benefitted from the training programme on Occupational Safety and Health which
was developed in line with the ILO’s code of practice OSH. “All these are
geared toward realizing a robust maritime sector in line with international
regulations,” Dr. Peterside said.
At the event, President General of the Maritime
Workers Union (MWUN), represented by the Secretary General, Comrade Felix
Akingboye, the Chairman, Ports Consultative Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin,
President of the Seamen and Water Transport Branch of the Maritime Workers’
Union, Comrade Francis Bunu and other Stakeholders unanimously commended NIMASA
for its efforts in ensuring that the welfare of the seafarers is taken into
proper consideration.
The Day of the seafarers is a day celebrated all over
the world on the 25th of June yearly; following the resolution
adopted by the 2010 diplomatic conference in Manila, Philippines to adopt the
STCW Convention.

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