Home Maritime NIMASA Places 11,956 Nigerian Seafarers Onboard Cabotage Vessels

NIMASA Places 11,956 Nigerian Seafarers Onboard Cabotage Vessels

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it has approved the placement of 11,956 Nigerian seafarers onboard Cabotage vessels from January 2021 to July- 2023 in line with its mandate of implementing the Cabotage Act.

According to the agency, under the current administration led by Bashir Jamoh, 3,705 seafarers were placed onboard Cabotage vessels in the year 2021; 7,238 seafarers were placed in 2022 and 1,013 were placed in 2023 (Jan – July).

Also, 539 Nigerian seafarers were recommended for replacement in the first quarter of 2023.

Furthermore, 3,219 and 3,619 seafarers were registered in the years 2021 and 2022 respectively while 1,176 have been registered in the seven months of 2023 (Jan-July).

In the same vein, 24 MLC, 2006 certificates were issued in the year 2021; 49 MLC, 2006 certificates were issued in the year 2022 and 63 MLC, 2006 certificates were issued in the year 2023 (Jan-July), amounting to a total number of 8,014 seafarers that have been registered from 2021 to 2023 (Jan-July) and 136 MLC, 2006 certificates issued after inspections within the same years.

One of the main principles of the Cabotage regime is to localise manning of vessels operating in Nigerian waters. To a considerable extent, NIMASA has ensured the placement of Nigerian seafarers on board Cabotage vessels in line with its function and the provisions of the Cabotage Act of 2003.

Meanwhile, Cabotage manning applications are now processed on the condition that all foreign crew especially Ratings on board vessels are to be replaced with Nigerian seafarers/cadets within two to three weeks of operations.

The agency has also digitalised the registration and documentation with the establishment of the e-registration platform enables the online and real-time registration of maritime labour including seafarers and dockworkers, maritime labour employers (shipping companies, manning/crewing agents, stevedoring companies, jetties/terminals operators) and operators (bonded terminals, inland container deports, off dock terminals, dry ports offshore platforms) in Nigeria.

Presently, 65 stevedoring companies, 26 terminal/jetty operators and 1,395 dockworkers have been registered from 2021 to 2023 (Jan-July).

The maritime labour e-registration platform is a robust integrated information, verification and communication facility that provides real-time information on maritime labour registration processes and operations as well as enables the online registration and verification of documents, and the issuance of operational licenses timely.

It also serves as a database from which statistics can be extrapolated for national planning, policy formulation, human and infrastructural development and research purposes.

NIMASA is also in the process to host the e-registration platform on the Agency website.

NIMASA in 2008 initiated the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) with the sole mandate of training Nigerian youths to become seafarers and Naval Architects in order to build manpower for maritime industry.

The programme was designed to train Nigerian youths up to Degree level in Marine Engineering, Nautical Sciences and Naval Architecture in some of the best maritime training institutions abroad and to position them to compete effectively in the global maritime industry as a means of developing the Nigerian maritime space.

In December 2022 NIMASA sent forth 235 Nigerians to India and Greece as Batch B of the 435 young Nigerians to be trained as Licensed Deck and Engine Officers including Naval Architects under the NSDP with an additional 200 having been previously sponsored for overseas training under Batch A.

Bashir Jamoh, director general of NIMASA said then that the Agency was working with countries that are committed to an understanding for mutual recognition of Certificate of Competency (CoC), and that had underpinned the selection of institutions that trains the beneficiaries.

The Agency has also succeeded in providing seatime for all beneficiaries of the NSDP with the aim of enabling young Nigerians to earn foreign currencies and improve remittances to the country.

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