Seafarers lament unemployment and blame cabotage law

The seafarers, under the auspices of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, say the lack of enforcement and implementation of the cabotage law by regulators has led to unemployment in the ‘industry.

Union president Bob Yousou in a statement blamed the influx of foreign counterparts as the reason for unemployment in the sector.

Yousou, however, called on the federal government to promote local content and cabotage law as part of efforts to reduce foreign dominance in the country’s maritime sector.

“The government should stem the influx of foreign sailors into the country’s maritime space. Lack of enforcement and enforcement of cabotage law by regulators has led to unemployment. »

Yousou, while highlighting some of the challenges faced by Nigerian seafarers, reiterated that the union would continue to support government policies.

He nevertheless denounced the lag in wages of Nigerian seafarers by their respective employers, shipowners and manning agents, calling such practices slavery.

The president explained that while foreigners engaged in the country’s territorial waters were paid accordingly, their local counterparts were not treated the same.

“The standard of living for an average Nigerian worker is poor. The lack of a collective agreement for seafarers in most shipping companies is discouraging. We must be united to fight our common enemy – the slave master of our time. We take this opportunity to request the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider launching a national carrier. With a national carrier, cadets can train at sea, transport Nigerian cargo and reduce capital flight,” he concluded.

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