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Ratification Of MLC 2006 ‘ll Ensure Seafarers Right -NIMASA DG

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The Director General of the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi has noted that the ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 in Nigeria is a demonstration of the country’s commitment towards ensuring seafarers rights in terms of their living and working condition in a decent environment.
Akpobolokemi, who was represented by Barr. Callistus Obi, made this assertion at a special session with Shipowners, Seafarer Employers, Manning Agents and Seafarers on Maritime Labour Convention MLC 2006, organised by NIMASA at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt last Friday.
He said the MLC 2006, dubbed, “The Bill of Rights for Seafarers” is an opportunity for shipowners, Seafarer employers, Maning Agents and Seafarers to get acquainted with their rights and obligations under the convention.
According to him, the convention which is also referred to as the 4th pillar of International Maritime Standards (IMS) after  IMO Conventions, and pleased to boldly say that Nigeria has been ratified.
“The bold initiative of ratifying this convention presents several benefits to Nigeria, especially in the areas of technical co-operation with other International Labour Organisation (ILO) member states and technical support and training from ILO itself, which has resulted in the training of over 25 NIMASA Labour Inspectors,” he said, adding that a detailed action plan has been put in place preparatory to the entry into force of the convention in Nigeria come June 18, 2014, in Lagos.
The NIMASA boss noted that the objective is to ensure compliance and enforcement so as to achieve effective implementation at both flag state and port state control levels, stressing that it is an updated convention which creates a single instrument encompassing over 68 existing conventions and recommendations on seafarers. He said Nigeria as the 5th state in Africa to have ratified the convention is a landmark achievement for the country and indeed NIMASA through the current management, and called on all stakeholders to facilitate the achievement of the lofty objective. Akpobolokemi said the achievement is a further testimony of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation drive, which would further provide recognition for Nigeria by both ILO and IMO as a complement state with the attendant promotion of   International Labour Standards. In her paper presentation, the Director, Maritime Labour Services Department, Mrs Juliana Abiodun Gunwa heighted the structure of implementation of the MLC 2006, responsibilities and obligations of shipowners, manning agents and seafarers.
Mrs Gunwa, who was represented by Mrs Ego Nwokocha, however, said although the convention does not directly bind shipowners, but that governments are bound to regulate ship owners to ensure that the laid down responsibilities and obligations were met by all parties. Stakeholders from all walks of life attended the session and interacted on issues concerning the operations.

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Maritime

Customs Cautions Officers On Improper Dressing, Unkempt Beards

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to sanction its officials for improper dressing and unkempt beards.  Other minor violations include use of name tags.
This was contained in a memo issued by the Deputy Comptroller General, Human Resources Development of NCS, A.T. Babani.
The memo number HRD/2021/026 titled: “Introduction of Customs Police Caution Slip in the Service” was dated 10th September, 2021.
The memo stated that the caution slip would be issued in triplicate for minor offences such as improper dressing, use of unapproved name tags, and failure to shave among others.
The service said it has introduced the use of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
The memo reads, “I am directed to bring to your notice that the Comptroller General of Customs has approved the usage of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
“The slip which will be administered by the Customs Police Unit of various Zones/Area Commands would be in triplicate and once issued, a copy shall be forwarded and inserted into the officer’s establishment file.
“The issuance of the Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) will include offences such as improper dressing, multi-colour waist belt other than approved one and usage of unapproved name tag, failure to shave, and other sundry minor violations of the second regulation 13 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP LFN of 2004 as amended.
“The caution slips would serve as a proactive tool to ensure compliance to rules and regulations.
“First-time offenders, repeated offenders and consistent pattern of offence identified, shall be documented and used for strategic decisions making”.

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Stakeholder Tasks RSG, MWUN On Piracy

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, says the union and the state government need a strong synergy to tackle the act of sea piracy and all forms of criminal activities in the state’s waterways. 
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers state Branch, Comrade Jonah Jumbo, in an interview with The Tide, noted that unlike in Lagos State, there was no synergy between the Rivers State Government and MWUN to curb piracy on the waterways.
“We need to work together to checkmate all forms of criminality, sea piracy and attacks on passenger boats in our waters”, Jumbo said.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that the state government and the union were working in parallel lines, hence the high rate of piracy on the waterways.
Jumbo said, lack of synergy between the state and the union was having negative turns in its operations, thereby not improving marine transport business in the state.
The chairman said the union alone cannot solve the problem of insecurity in the waterways, hence the need for collaborations between the state government and other relevant authorities.
He further noted that Lagos State was doing well in marine transportation because there was a strong synergy between the state government and the union.
“Lagos state maritime business is improving every day with more fleets because the government, stakeholders and the union are working towards ensuring success”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Inadequate Facilities At MAN Worry Mariners

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The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has lamented lack of simulators for training of cadets at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
The body also decried lack of ocean-going vessels to enable the cadets of the academy acquire the mandatory sea time experience.
NAMM President, Capt. Tajudeen Alao disclosed this during an interview with newsmen, recently. 
“Training at the Academy had always been as per the International Maritime Organisations (IMO) model courses”, he said.
Capt. Alao said the shortcomings have always been in the areas of lecturers, simulators and international trading ships for practical exposure.
Other challenges include lack of funding, bureaucracy and the Nigerian factor.
“Leadership of the academy too has not been based on professionalism but political consideration. The shipping companies who are end-users have not committed their services to the academy.
“The number of students per class is much more than what is obtainable in the western world. 
“There are no core ship-related courses, not many courses, facilities and disciplines,” Alao said.

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