The Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers & Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO&WTSSA) has called on the federal government to urgently nip the illegal operations of some people in the maritime industry posing as merchant navy officers.
The Union’s President Comrade Bob Yousou, said that alarm was necessary because of the result of the danger that the activities of the group may cause in the industry if left unchecked.
The union alleges that the group in question engages in duping people in the name of issuing maritime security certificates to seafarers and that the certificates are not recognised and accepted within Nigeria and internationally.
Yousou said, “It has been a while these unscrupulous elements have been duping people in the name of maritime security certificates that is not recognised and accepted within Nigeria and internationally.
“Merchant Navy Officers all over the world are known to be discipline and professional. There is no Maritime Convention that mandates seafarers to carry arms globally.
“History has it that the establishment of Nigerian Navy (NN) is as a result of the security issues encountered by seafarers plying their trade in Nigeria territorial water. It is therefore the duty of Nigerian Navy to uphold our territorial boundaries and deal with the security challenges faced by seafarers.
“With the coming into force of the Deep Blue Sea project, the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not leaving any stone unturned to curb insecurity challenges in our territorial waters.
“The certificates issued by this group of people neither conform to ILO/IMO regulation nor in line with Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) requirements.
“NIMASA today stands as the only maritime regulatory agency and I stand to be challenged that the activities of these impostors are not in tandem as far as NIMASA is concerned.
“It becomes glaring that the fake bodies are the ones militarizing our noble profession. They are bent on wearing uniform day in, day out without any plans to go onboard vessel and work, hence the conflict with the Nigerian Navy and other security authorities.
“Merchant Navy uniform is the same globally but we stand against the abuse of it. Seafarers are professionals with great repute. They transport about 85 per cent of the world trade.”