The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, has urged the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) to improve the welfare of Nigerian seafarers.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated that a revised working condition for Nigerian Seafarers is a major component of the proposed review of the NIMASA Act and the Merchant Shipping Act is currently before the National Assembly for consideration.
According to Dr. Jamoh, “the ongoing review by the NJIC is timely because it comes at a time when we are in the process of reviewing both the NIMASA Act and the Merchant Shipping Act with the outcomes of the tripartite negotiations by the NJIC to be inputted into both Amendments to ensure that they are binding”.
He added that the tripartite agreement reached would be imputed in the amended copies of the NIMASA Act and the Merchant Shipping Act 2007.
NIMASA in 2018 led negotiations with the NJIC, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), and other relevant stakeholders to increase dockworker wages and entitlements through the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) initiative, resulting in better working conditions for Nigerian dockworkers.
The Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabot age Services, Engr. Victor Ochei, who also serves as the Chairman of the NJIC, emphasised on the benefits of the ongoing review for the Nigerian Maritime sector as a whole.
In his words, “a review of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is needed for improved wages and living standards for Seafarers operating in Nigeria’s in territorial waters, who undoubtedly are an integral part of the maritime sector”.
The NIMASA DG noted that the discrepancy between local and foreign seafarers, and discrimination in terms of payment and compensation between Nigerians and other nationalities would come to an end when the standard was established.