Posed to stamp out illegal manning of ships in Nigeria, the nation’s apex maritime regulatory agency, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has inaugurated a stakeholders’ task force with a mandate to fish out all manning agents, who are not registered with the Agency.
Under the NIMASA Act of 2007, the agency superintends all maritime labour related activities including registration of manning agents who under the law are responsible for supplying seafarers to ships in the country.
While inaugurating the 19-member task Force on behalf of the agency’s director general, its executive director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Ibrahim Zailani declared that NIMASA will not compromise
international standards as regards the registration of seafarers and
The executive director urged the task force which drew is membership from the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Merchant Navy Association of Nigeria (MNAN) Association of Manning Agents of Nigeria (AMAN), officials from the Maritime Guard Command and the Maritime Labour Department of NIMASA to be persuasive in carrying out their mandate, even as he warned that NIMASA will not hesitate to wield the big stick if persuasion fails.
The terms of reference of the force include: identification of all activities of illegal manning agents, persuade unregistered manning agents to register with NIMASA, suggest ways of curbing illegal manning agents and also make necessary recommendations on how to effectively address all challenges faced by manning agents in Nigeria.
He however blamed the failure of suppliers and users of seafarers’ services for the proliferation of unregistered and illegal manning agents in Nigeria, but stressed that the task force is expected to carry out its assignment diligently to correct the anomalies.
“Let me note that the response to our Marine Notice as regards the need
for manning agents to register with the agency has not been encouraging. I hope this task force will employ all necessary techniques to ensure that
stakeholders are better informed that registration cost them nothing. It
only enhances the welfare of their workers”, he stressed.
The task force is expected to submit a preliminary report in January 2010.