NIMASA Set to Make Nigeria, A Maritime Power House – DG Mobereola

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L-R: Member House of Representatives, Khadija Abba Ibrahim; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Dayo Mobeeola; Director , Maritime Safety and Security, Federal Ministry of Blue Economy, Bombatata Babatunde and Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Sen. Wasiu Sanni Eshilokun during the 2024 Day of the Seafarer Celebration in Lagos.

Shola Fadeyi 

NIMASA DG, Dr Mobereola.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has said it is   adopting  a three- pronged approach to making Nigeria a  maritime power house.

NIMASA DG, Dr Dayo Mobereola made this disclosure in his welcome address during the ‘Day of the Seafarer 2024’ with the theme, ‘Navigating the Future: Safety First’ , organised in Lagos , by the NIMASA under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy   in conjunction with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

He said this will be achieved through  Talent Acquisition- bridging  the gap in understanding of the maritime industry, attracting young minds with fulfilling career paths: Talent Development-  equipping seafarers with continuous learning opportunities ,and a service-oriented mindset to  unlock their full potential.

The DG stated that this will also be realised through Talent Deployment, where female   participation in seafaring will  be promoted to   ensure  that qualified Nigerians secure placements on vessels.

He disclosed that NIMASA will  launch youth-focused programmes to educate and empower the next generation, preparing them to contribute to a sustainable maritime future, while it will on behalf of the Federal Government invest  in smart ship technologies  which will further promote a clean environment.

Mobereola reiterated  the Agency’s resolve towards tackling the menace of piracy and sea robbery which  he said has significantly reduced since the operationalization of its maritime assets under the Deep Blue Project.

He  stated  that the Agency’s human capacity building initiatives have resulted in the training and retraining of Nigerian Seafarers to acquire the required skills in line with industry needs, while it has  prioritized the training programmes and courses of the seafarers  to enable them acquire the relevant advanced certificates that will enhance their employment opportunities.

According to him, in  the area of employment of Seafarers, the Agency through the introduction of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy on Manning has ensured that all foreign Seafarer Ratings and some category of officers onboard Cabotage Vessels are immediately replaced with qualified Nigerian Seafarers.

He stated that the  Third phase of the Nigerian Seafarers’ Development programme,  aims to graduate 435 officers , adding that  many trainees are currently undergoing mandatory sea-time training on-board ocean going vessels.

The NIMASA DG revealed that though the challenge lies in securing placements for these qualified seafarers, but pointed out that NIMASA is already  working to resolve this issue.

He said the Agency is also exploring avenues to create jobs for Nigerian  seafarers, including collaborating with government agencies like the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

The NIMASA DG said, soon, certain positions such as Ratings and Officer of the Watch will be designated as “no longer available” for foreign Seafarers to occupy, adding however that  some other positions may be considered based on merit for foreigners to occupy.

He said the Agency is working tirelessly to strengthen its legal framework by domesticating all Maritime Labour related ILO Conventions ratified by Nigeria, which according to him  include the Maritime Labour Conventions (MLC) 2006 as amended, the Seafarers Identity Document (SID) Convention as amended, and the Dock Work Convention.

Mobereola was of  the view that NIMASA recognized  the humongous challenges seafarers face, including war zones, pirates, and exposure to health risks as well as  acknowledged  that some basic rights, such as proper insurance and compensation, are not always guaranteed, adding that the development is a call to action for all stakeholders government, ship-owners, and even  NIMASA  to address these issues and prioritize seafarer welfare.

He said seafarers are the backbone of global trade as they  brave challenging conditions, ensuring over 80% of the world’s trade reaches its destination , adding that their dedication strengthens not only the international economy, but more importantly, the well-being of their home nation, Nigeria.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy , Adegboyaga Oyetola was represented at the event by the Director Maritime and Safety at the Ministry, Babatumde Bombata , while the Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport,Wasiu  Eshinlokun and Chairman House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hajia Bukar  Ibrahim gave Goodwill messages at the event.

Other stakeholders who delivered Goodwill messages, at the event ES/CEO. of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council include (NSC), Barrister Pius Ukeyima Akutah,MD, NPA Mohammed Bello Koko among  , Regional Director, African Mission to Seafarers, Reverend Cedric Rautenback, the President , Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) and President General Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju .

Head, ITF Seafarers Trust , Kate Higginbothom. President, World Maritime University Prof Max Mejia , ILO , Dr Amos Kuje and Nigeria Alternate Permanent Representative to IMO , Mr Abdulmumni Dirisu  however delivered their messages virtually.