Merchant Navy Laments Delay In The Issuance Of Coc To Seafarers  

The Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, has urged the Federal Government through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to ensure that the all-important Certificate of Competency (CoC) is given to seafarers immediately after passing their requisite exams instead of delaying issuance for as much as six months. The association made the appeal yesterday in Lagos during a chat with a correspondent of Shipping Position Daily. Stating the position of association, the Assistant General Secretary of the association, Mr. John Okpono, also urged the National Assembly to ensure that Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 is domesticated.“There is still delay in signing Certificate of Competency for our seafarers. After training the certificates stay up to six months before they are signed and released which is not good. A week after your examination when you are successful, your certificate should be given to you immediately we do not want this delay because it tells bad about our people”, he said. He added that the lawmakers “should also domesticate the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 also implement the Cabotage act”. He also said that the government should get training vessels for our cadets in other to maximise the economy, even as he said that the Cabotage act is good all the government needs to do is to implement it.“We need training vessels and national carrier. Let there be training vessels for our cadets and let look inward and not looking for cadets outside. Let’s use the maritime institution here for their training because training them abroad is capital intensive”. He also advised the government to ensure that Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, is upgraded in terms of equipment and facilities to meet the recent upgrade of the academy to a unoversity by the National Assembly.  “Now that they have upgraded MAN Oron to university, they should ensure that the facilities there meet the standard of a university. Countries like Singapore, Malaysia amongst other whom we started together are now far better than Nigerian in terms of maritime. They have at least 100 national vessels and we can boast of any. So the government should do something about that”, he concluded.