The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association is unhappy with International Oil Companies for mandating seafarers to bear the cost of acquiring Offshore Safety Permit introduced by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
In a statement on Saturday signed by the secretary-general of the union, John Okpono, the union
vowed to end the injustice done to Nigeria seafarers.
According to the statement, president of the union, Joseph Yousuo, explained that Nigerian seafarers or mariners were guided by maritime conventions and guidelines from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
Financial Street gathered that DPR introduced the OSP as requirement by IOCs for seafarers to obtain at a fee, but the seafarers raised the alarm over the directive put by the government agency.
“It is, therefore, not appropriate for anybody or group, even a regulatory body outside NIMASA, to just wake up and impose possession of certificates or permit whose cost is to be borne by Nigeria seafarers.
“We, as seafarers, are governed and regulated by the International Maritime Organisation conventions and the Standard Training and Certification Watchkeep ’95, which is compulsory for seafarers to undergo; tanker familiarisation; personal safety and social responsibilities.
“Others include: -Personal Survival techniques; Fire preventing and Fire fighting; Elementary first Aid and Proficiency in security awareness and other advance courses,” the president explained.
He added that “DPR is for oil and gas operations, and any company under its purview is expected to meet the requirements by paying the OSP” and not the seafarers who had got the required COCs as enshrined in the STCW ’95.
Yousuo, who further condemned the unprofessional act by oil and gas regulators who compel seafarers to pay for the OSP, even as he urged seafarers to report such cases as well as not to accept such responsibilities.
To protect Nigerian seamen from untold hardship, it mandated all seafarers to update their Certificate Of Competency to meet up with the modern challenges in the industry.
He also called on Nigerian seafarers to embrace the union as a veritable tool to assist in best practices.
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