In furtherance of its effort to ensure improved working conditions for seafarers in the country, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has midwifed the signing of the Nigerian Seafarers Conditions of Service Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). This was contained in a statement from the agency’s head, Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi.
The agreement signed at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos was with the endorsement of the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) Collective Bargaining Agreement on minimum standards on conditions of service for Nigerian seafarers in both coastal and offshore sectors.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, expressed his belief that proper implementation of the agreement would bring about significant improvement in seafarers’ working conditions.
Dakuku said, “As an Agency, we are happy to midwife this process that will enhance the welfare of our seafarers. I wish to commend the seafarers’ employers in the offshore and coastal sectors for their cooperation and understanding in seeing through the whole process.
“In the same vein, I wish to implore them to also ensure that the CBA, which is meant to guide ship-owners in their bipartite negotiations and the development of all employment agreements, is implemented as endorsed.”
The DG, who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Gambo Ahmed, added that the conditions of service of the CBA is a minimum standard in line with the extant national and international regulations and must be met by all employers of seafarers.
Mr. Gambo who is also the Chairman of the NJIC urged employers to note that the enhancement of welfare of seafarers will in turn enhance productivity and effective job performance.
Some of the stakeholders at the occasion were Mrs. Wasilat Mohammed Adamu, who co-signed the agreement in her capacity as representative of the Federal Ministry of Transportation; Mr. Magnus Ibe of Bourbon International Limited; Mr. Alalade Matthew, representing the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO/WTSSA); Director, Maritime Labour Services, NIMASA, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril; and Director, Special Duties, NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka.
In attendance to witness the event were key maritime stakeholders from the offshore and coastal maritime sectors, Maritime Workers Union (MWUN), Association of Manning Agents of Nigeria (AMAN), National Seafarers Welfare Board (NSWB), as well as representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, and management staff of NIMASA.
It may be recalled that the CBA for the fishing sector had earlier been signed, and with the signing of the agreement for the coastal and offshore sectors, Nigerian seafarers now have a complete CBA. NIMASA has consistently thrown its weight behind measures aimed at ensuring employers of seafarers fall in line with extant and international regulations.