Workers’ Day: Merchant Navy decries late payment of seafarers salaries
...appeals to FG to float national carrier
The Nigeria. merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association has lamented the late payment of local seafarers salaries by their employers.
The National President of the senior seafarers cadre, Comrade Bob Yousoustated this in his Workers’ day speech made available to the press.
He likened the treatment of seafarers by their employers, ship owners, manning agents as slavery arrangement.
Yousou fumed that while their foreign counterparts in Nigeria’s territorial waters get preferential treatment in early payment of salaries, the Nigerian seafarers’ salaries are unnecessarily delayed.
He added that the average Nigerian worker’s standard of living is poor noting that the non existence of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for seafarers in most of the shipping companies was discouraging.
While bemoaning the spate of kidnapping, ritual killings, drug trafficking and banditry in the country, Yousou called in the government to tackle security challenges in the country.
As part of efforts at reducing foreign dominance in the nation’s Maritime sector, he called on the federal government to promote local content and Cabotage Act.
He charged the government to checkmate the influx of foreign seafarers into the Maritime space of the country saying lack of enforcement of Cabotage Act has led to unemployment among Nigerian seafarers.
He however promised that the union would continue to support the policies of the government for efficiency of the sector.
While congratulating seafarers, he appealed to them that there is still hope for development of the country irrespective of the present state of insecurity.
His words, “We must be united to fight our common enemies, the slave master of our time.
“We are ITF affiliate, we use this opportunity to request that the federal government of Nigeria consider floating a national carrier.
“With National carrier, cadets can have sea time training, carry Nigeria cargoes thereby reducing capital freight, help to reduce unemployment as well as the pride of the nation as the maritime hub in West Africa,” he submitted.
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