Port Harcourt — A group known as Bonny Indigenous Pilot and Seafarers Association, has lamented that oil multinationals operating on Bonny Island, are unwilling to employ Bonny indigenes in their marine sections.
The group also accused the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, of unwilling to train Bonny indigenous youths in its operations within Bonny Ports.
Speaking to newsmen, Chairman of Bonny Indigenous Pilot and Seafarers Association, Allwell Banigo, said multinationals operating in Bonny Island would rather give marine logistics contracts to foreigners and non indigenes than indigenous marine contractors.
Banigo said as indigenous maritime organization, they have written to relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector, oil multinationals operating in Bonny and its waterways to work with them, but the companies were yet comply.
He also accused the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, of bringing expatriates to train non indigenous mariners in Bonny, at the detriment of Bonny indigenous mariners.
“We have observed that the Nigerian Ports Authority, operating within Bonny Island is not willing to train and employ Bonny indigenous youths.
“We have observed that multinationals, operating in Bonny and its environs are not willing to employ our Bonny indigenous cadets and mariners in their marine section, even if the mariners are qualified.
“It is sad to note that multinationals operating within Bonny Island chose to give marine logistics contracts to foreigners or people from a distance other than indigenous marine contractors.
“It is very disappointing and unacceptable to note that multinationals operating within Bonny will deny indigenous marine employees based on expired marine papers, rather than encouraging the employees to go renew their papers while working.
“We are still wondering that multinationals operating within Bonny island have refused to comply with our letters of audience to enable us brief them of the number of our registered members and to see how many they can employ in line with relevant sections of the Nigerian local content provisions.
“As a community based organization, we have this strong feeling that NLNG brings expatriates to train non indigenous mariners in their residential area, to the detriment of the Bonny indigenous mariners.”
Banigo who disclosed that the group was duly registered under Cooperate Affairs Commission, called on NIMASA and NPA to intervene in calling oil multinationals operating in Bonny Island to order.
He warned that failure for the companies to meet their demands could mitigate the smooth operations of NLNG Train-7 Project.
“Let us quickly add here that in view of the need to expand the chances to absorb maritime workers and stem inland water way crimes, sea piracy, across Nigerian water ways, we want to strongly support the call to have coast guards to complement the efforts of seafarers, merchant navy under NIMASA.
“Therefore following our above experiences and challenges, we seriously call on federal government agencies like NIMASA to intervene in the Maritime Labour Regulation, Cabotage Enforcement, Training and Certification of Seafarers, and Maritime Capacity Development between our organization and multinationals operating in Bonny Island.
“We are also calling on the NPA to intervene and start training our members in the operations of the Bonny sea ports.
“We equally call on relevant National Assembly Committees like, The Chairman Senate Committee on Maritime Transport. Sen. Ahmed Sanni, The Chairman House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Umar Bago, to intervene and do justice in this situation before it constitutes a form of hindrance to the smooth process of the Nigerian LNG Train 7 Project.”