06 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Stakeholders in the maritime sector are again calling on the Federal Government to acquire ships as well as disburse the much talked about Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF) to make the industry buzz again.
The National President of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, NMNWTSSA, Comrade Matthew Alalade who spoke with our correspondent on phone said that is the only way to revive the fortunes of the sector in the year, 2019.
Alalade maintained that the shipping line would provide jobs for the teeming youth of the country who are currently unemployed.
He added that if the ship owners were given the CVFF in the New Year, they would be able to acquire vessels that would be class to lift Nigeria’s crude oil and thereby creating wealth for the nation and the citizens.
His words, “My expectations are for the Government to acquire ships for the teeming youths and disbursement of CVFF to genuine prospective ship owners. At our entire vessel, owners must partake in the lifting of our crude also.”
Speaking further, Alalade called on the government to involve unions in the sector in the negotiation before disbursing the funds to avoid it ending up in private pockets.
“But especially in Government negotiations, must involve the UNIONS /Seafarers for national and productivity, so that the funds will not fly as National cake as in the past with no success. Involve the Unions,” he admonished.
On the intervention on behalf of seafarers in prison, he quipped that the union was constrained on any further assistance to the inmates since they are not members of the union.
“On the SEAFARERS in custody, we have done our best to counsel them to join the Union in line with MLC 2006/2010 as amended. It is difficult for the Association to go further on non-financial members.
“As at now, most of those serving now did not come to update their membership,” he concluded