The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of the Seafarer with the Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside averring that there can be no maritime sector without the seafarers.
Speaking during a joint visit to the Apapa port in Lagos with members of the National Seafarers Welfare Board, Dr. Peterside stated that seafarers were indispensable in realizing a virile maritime sector globally.
Accordingly, he assured them of the agency’s unflinching support to the welfare of seafarers in line with a Decent Work Agenda and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006.
“Let me assure you of our commitment to a better condition of living for the seafarers and our resolve to continue to engage in human capacity development so that you can also compete favourably with your counterparts internationally. Your challenges are our challenges just as your successes are our successes; we are together in the Voyage of steering the ship of the Nigerian maritime sector to greater heights in line with global best practices” the DG assured.
The DG who was represented by the Head, Corporate Communications of the agency, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi also used the opportunity to call on stakeholders and maritime labour employers to ensure that the welfare of seafarers was topmost in their priority.
Speaking further, the DG called on relevant partners in maritime industry to join hands in implementing all instruments relating to the welfare of seafarers in line with global best practices, especially to ensure achievement of the Federal Government’s policy on “Ease of Doing business” in the country.
This year’s event with its theme “Seafarers Matter” is aimed at demonstrating the importance of the seafaring profession to the growth and development of the maritime sector globally and to mark the day in Nigeria, NIMASA visited seafarers on-board some vessels; MV BALTIC PANTHER, AFRICA GLORY, GOLDEN EAGLE, and ASIA PEARL VII amongst others, where they were received by their respective Masters and Captains.
The Seafarers thanked the agency for aligning with the international maritime community to mark the day and for coming to felicitate with them.
Day of the Seafarer (DotS) was established in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers. Its stated purpose is to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the globe to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole.
The resolution encourages Governments, shipping organizations, companies, shipowners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it profoundly.
It is noteworthy that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set aside 25th of June every year to commemorate seafarers worldwide. Nigeria will be commemorating the day proper, with an event slated to hold on June 29, 2017 in Onne, Rivers State.