Nigeria signs MoU on marine certification with Egypt, Australia, others

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) with Egypt, Australia, Bahamas, Vietnam, and Dominican Republic on the certification of its cadets.

The agency has also concluded plans to sign the same deal with Singapore, Luxembourg and other European countries with a view to ensuring cadets or mariners who want to upgrade their certificates are able to do so with ease.

President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Captain Ade Olopoenia, who disclosed this recently, said the collaboration is one of the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Olopoenia said that the IMO requirement stipulates that countries work modalities of recognising each others’ certificates so that seafarers can either work on board vessels belonging to the collaborating country or take career advancing examinations.

With the signing of the agreement, Nigerian seafarers are now allowed to write some of their examinations in the United Kingdom.

Olopoenia explained that the partnership was about the Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention 1978.

“It established such things as the requirement for four years of experience for a Master 1600gt license.The big change came in 1995 when the US Coast Guard approached the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and asked it to amend the convention. Significant changes were made to the convention.

“The STCW ’95 amendments did not have to be ratified like the original convention because it was an amendment to an existing convention.

“The amendments, however, completely rewrote enforcement related to the convention and more importantly, created an STCW Code (similar to the USCG licensing regulations) that set stringent standards for mariners to meet.” he added.

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