By Bimbola Oyesola, [email protected]
As Nigeria joined other nations to celebrate a day of the seafarers at the weekend, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has charged the Federal Government to strengthen maritime training institutions in the country and bring them to par with global standards.
President-general of MWUN, Adeyanju Adewale, felicitating seafarers in Nigeria and globally, said the union understands the extraordinary services seafarers provide to keep the world’s economy running smoothly.
“So, today, we celebrate this fine gentlemen and ladies who daily put their lives at risk plying their trade to ensure that the rest of the world can access the basics of living,” he said.
Reflecting on this year’s theme, “Your voyage, then and now, share your journey boldly,” Adeyanju said it demands that the world acknowledges their unique identity and contributions to world order.
He said, “Seafaring and seafarers have indeed come a long way through the decades, quietly but definitely growing in leaps and bounds to its present prestigious posture and garnering recognition and accolades.
“Indeed, MWUN acknowledges that without seafarers there will be no maritime operation, which is why they will continue to have our support as critical factors in our consideration and workings.”
Adeyanju noted that all was not rosy, as seafarers continue to face obstacles that threaten to impair their capacity to reach potential: “We find it expedient at this time to announce our worry at the continued denial of our certificate of competency by certain flag states, which limits the application of our seafaring competency in other climes.
“We, therefore, posit that government and its responsible agency pull up to gear up our acceptance in the global space.”
Meanwhile, the shipping industry, last month, adopted amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention to improve seafarers’ conditions.
Drawing from lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders in the global shipping industry met in hybrid format from may 5 to 13, 2022, and adopted amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006), to improve the living and working conditions of seafarers.
More than 500 delegates attending the second part of the Special Tripartite Meeting of the MLC, 2006, agreed that the amendments will ensure that: seafarers have appropriately-sized personal protective equipment, in particular to suit the increasing number of women seafarers; good quality drinking water is available free of charge for seafarers;
States further facilitate the prompt repatriation of abandoned seafarers;
States provide medical care for seafarers in need of immediate assistance and facilitate the repatriation of the remains of seafarers who have died on board; seafarers are provided with appropriate social connectivity by shipowners and states provide internet access in their ports; seafarers are informed of their rights relating to the obligation of recruitment and placement services to compensate seafarers for monetary losses; and all deaths of seafarers are recorded and reported annually to the ILO and the relevant data is published.
In addition to the amendments, the Special Tripartite Committee adopted a number of resolutions related to bullying and harassment of seafarers, including sexual assault and sexual harassment; the financial security system to protect seafarers in cases of abandonment and the need to adopt measures to ensure that all seafarers have adequate means of contractual redress against shipowners.

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© 2019 The Sun Nigeria – Managed by Netsera.

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