Engr. Bob Yousou gives account of stewardship as president of Merchant Navy
National President of Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO&WTSSA), Comrade Bob Yousou has stated that his greatest challenge since assuming office two years ago is the issue of making uniform and ranking a priority in the association
Chief Yousou stated this while taking stock of his achievements since taking over the seat in January, 2020.
According to him, the issue of uniform and ranking has permeated proliferation in the sector because some people believe so much in taking advantage of the uniform but he said the major thing about the association is not the uniform but the profession.
“My challenge is that the way people see this Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association is not what it is and I have come to change that mindset
“They think Merchant Navy is about uniform, uniform but I keep telling them that this association is not about uniform, ranking and all the rest bit for seafarers and well being of seafarers.
“It is a very big challenge because for us to change the mindset of these people, it is a lot of challenge because people will make you understand that this is how it has been done but we are saying we are already merchant navy, we are already officers and that uniform, rank is not our priority
“You can see a lot of proliferations, people go about with different names but I know it is not only in maritime sector. Anywhere there is a good thing, the bad ones must surely show up.”
Recalling his achievements, he said the greatest among them is moving the association’s secretariat from where it was to the hub of maritime activities.
He averred that some did not believe he could do it when he said it was one of the things he intended to achieve if given the mandate to lead the association
Recall that the association moved to the new secretariat in Oscar Ibru Road, Apapa in December, 2020 less than one year after assuming office.
Other achievements to him, include; purchase of new sets of computer systems for the use of the secretariat.
Increment of secretariat staff salaries. He said the increase was intended to motivate the staff towards efficiency.
Building of robust relationship among sister unions, the regulatory agency and other critical stakeholders in the industry.
In less than two years in office for the efforts, Yousou said Merchant Navy was awarded the Best Maritime Association of the Year, 2021 by a transport media publisher, Transport Today.
For the first time, Engr. Bob said the association held its 1st annual Seafarers Colloquium in Lagos in 2021. He added that the program was organised to lecture Nigerian seafarers on issues that bother on their well being, mental health and importance of union to their developments.
He enthused that the association was adequately represented at the ITF West Africa Fishers Seminar/Convention that held in Dakar, Senegal.
He quipped that under his administration, the union created more awareness against the proliferation of the name, Merchant Navy through publications and press releases.
In addition, the association had an important meeting with Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) to discuss the welfare and well-being of members in the fishing sector. The outcome of the meeting, he said was successful.