Seafarers union, maritime stakeholders support Merchant Shipping Act, others

Seafarers union, maritime stakeholders support Merchant Shipping Act, others

Maritime stakeholders on Wednesday unanimously supported the Merchant Shipping Act, Repeal and Enhancement Bill 2021

The stakeholders gave their support during the public hearing held at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

Edward Osagie, Assistant Director,Public Relations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) stated this in a release made available to

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Recall, Chairman, House Committee on Nigerian Maritime Safety, Education and Administration and member, representing Onitsha North and South federal constituency, Lynda China Ikpeazu had moved for bill to repeal the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 and enact Merchant Shipping Act

At the public hearing today, stakeholders were unanimous in their support for the bill.

Speaking on the development, the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association said it accepted the proposed four bills but remained silent on the Maritime development bank bill.

The union through its General Secretary, Comrade John Okponor sought that the names of the two unions NMNOWTSSA and Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria should be instituted in the bill

The union said, “He added that inclusion of the names of the unions was in line with ILO tripartite nature as well as trade unions Act (jurisdictional scope).

“The union accept the proposed 4 bills & remain silent on the bill on Maritime development bank.
Our grey areas in the repeal bills are :

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“That the name of both unions (Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and water transport Senior Staff Association, NMNOWTSSA) & Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, be instituted in the bills in line with ILO tripartite nature as well as trade unions act (jurisdictional scope).

According to Okponor, members of the two unions should be included in NIMASA board as was in the repealed JOMALIC Act

“That both unions be members to the NIMASA board as it were in the repealed JOMALIC Act.

“That there should be pool for both Seafarers & Dockworkers.
That there should be multilateral agreement with Maritime community for acceptance & recognition of our COC.

Mutual recognition of Certificate of Competency in line with Regulation 1/10 of STCW Convention. That we didn’t support waivers except otherwise.

“That in line with the STCW & Manila convention, our COCs should carry the tonnage capacity of the vessels e.g greater or less than instead of the NCV that limit us from cabotage trade.

“In line with the MLC 2006 as amended Seafarers representative should be involved in Seafarers matters, employment, engagement and other welfare and well being matters.”

Other stakeholders that supported the bill include; Master Mariners, Women in Shipping and Trade Association, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, among others.

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