*Dakuku Says no Seafarers, no Shipping
The Chairman, National Seafarers Welfare Board of Nigeria, NSWBN, Otunba Kunle Folarin has said that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) is not responsible for the detained seafarers, but rather has been of immense support and assistance in ensuring they have a better living condition in line with international best practice.
The Chairman, NSWBN who led other members of the Board on a courtesy visit to the Management of NIMASA, said he thought it necessary to clear the air and exonerates NIMASA from the news about the Agency abandoning seafarers; rather he said, reverse is the case, as the Agency has always ameliorated their plights.
He said, “For the records, NIMASA has no obligation for detained seafarers; rather they have been assisting us, especially in the area of welfare”.
Speaking further, he commended the Agency for taking the centre stage in the Nigerian maritime sector, by ensuring that Nigeria takes its rightful place in the comity of maritime nations. He also called on other stakeholders in the sector and Nigerians to support the quest of President Muhammadu Buhari to bring about a change in the sector, adding that it would affect the growth and development of Nigerian economy positively.
Otunba Folarin who is also the Chairman, Ports Consultative Council, PCC, called for more support from the Agency regarding the activities and well-being of seafarers, pledging unflinching support of the Board to the Agency, in order to ensure that the mandates of the Agency are fully realised.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside stated that the importance of seaborne trade cannot be overemphasized, as over 90 per cent of goods are transported through the sea.
The DG who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Mr. Gambo Ahmed also said that there would be no shipping activity without the seafarers; hence they are the bedrock to realising a robust maritime sector.
“For us in NIMASA, we are determined to ensure a better living condition for our seafarers, as they are critical to actualising our mandates. The welfare of the seafarer determines a lot about the growth of any economy. On our part as Agency, we would continue to ensure their well-being is topmost priority”, the DG said.
He further assured the delegation that the Agency would continue to partner with them, noting that the overall goal is to realise a robust and virile economy.
Accordingly, Dr. Dakuku’s led Management continues to embrace collaboration as a means to achieving its mandates. NIMASA is the government Agency whose responsibility as enshrined in its enabling act, cuts across Maritime Labour activities, which directly concerns the well-being of seafarers amongst other responsibilities.