Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, has described ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 by Nigeria as a demonstration of the country’s commitment to improved seafarers’ welfare and better working condition.
Akpobolokemi, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Haruna Jalo, stated this on Tuesday in Lagos at a special session with shipowners, seafarers employers and manning agents on implementation of MLC 2006.
MLC 2006, which was ratified by Nigeria on June 18, 2013 came into effect in the country on Wednesday – one full year after ratification.
The NIMASA boss said that the country would benefit in ratifying the convention in the area of technical support and training from International Labour Organisation (ILO).
”It is through the support of ILO that 25 NIMASA labour inspectors were trained. We will also benefit through technical co-operation with other ILO members,” he said.
Akpobolokemi said that the session was part of the process to actualise the plans to create conducive working condition for seafarers and for them to know their rights and obligations.
He said that NIMASA has facilitated the training of over 700 seafarers on the Standard of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) to enable them update their mandatory certification.
He urged stakeholders in the industry to facilitate the realisation of the objectives of MLC 2006 so that Nigerian Searfarers will be placed on Nigerian and foreign flagged vessels.
A Director in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Mrs Teresa Braima, said that the convention has binding on Nigeria since it has been ratified by the country.
”There are things we will not benefit from if we do not implement our convention. The ILO will monitor us to ensure we are doing the right thing,” Braima said.