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IMO Urges Fair Distribution Of Covid-19 Vaccines To Seafarers

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The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has called on member states to ensure that Covid-19 vaccines are made available to all seafarers across the globe.
The Secretary-General, IMO, Kitack Lim, in a statement, said all IMO member states should support a fair global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to enable seafarers have access to it.
im also wanted seafarers and marine personnel to be designated as ‘key workers’, noting that some key maritime labour supply countries are reliant on the COVAX initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to access vaccines.
He said, “To ensure access to vaccines of those countries, I call on all IMO member states to work together towards a fair global distribution, beyond fulfilling their national needs.
“No seafarers should be left behind or forced to forgo their careers because of limited resources in their home country.
“The health of the world’s seafarers and the safety of their workplaces has to remain one of our main priorities and can only be guaranteed if industry and member states continue to provide all necessary measures such as testing, appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, (PPE), access to medical care and sanitation facilities to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to addressing the ongoing humanitarian crisis at sea. I therefore reiterate my call to all member states to designate all seafarers and marine personnel as key workers.
“To date, only 58 of our 174 members have notified me that they have done so. The designation of seafarers as ‘key workers’ will facilitate their access to vaccination, since most states are prioritising essential workers in their national Covid-19 vaccination programmes, in accordance with the WHO SAGE Roadmap.
“Seafarers’ lives and work have been affected dramatically by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last quarter of 2020, the estimated number of seafarers globally waiting to either be relieved or join their ships stood at 400,000. Now, in May 2021, thanks to the collaborative efforts of IMO member states, the shipping industry, social partners and IMO’s sister UN agencies, the number is currently estimated to be about 200,000.
“However, this figure is still unacceptably high and the humanitarian crisis at sea is by no means over. Seafarers still face enormous challenges concerning repatriation, travelling to join their ships, proper access to medical care and shore leave”.
Lim said despite these challenges, the seafarers on board ships had continued to work and provide essential services for the global population.
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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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