…To reach 100 percent Nigerianisation by 2022
Lagos — The shipping arm of the Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG Ship Management Limited, NSML, says it now has 622 sailors in its employment and that it has recorded 84 percent of Nigerianisation of its workforce.
It also said it will achieve 100 percent Nigerianisation of the workforce by the end of 2022, whereby only Nigerians will be running the shipping firm.
Managing Director of NSML, Mr. Abdulkadir Ahmed, who disclosed this, stated that the at the end of next year, there would be no foreigner working with the shipping company as every position would have been taken over by Nigerians.
“The target is a 100 percent by 2022. However, recognising the international nature of our trade, we felt it was expedient to allow for some mixture as we keep up to 85 percent Nigerians and fifteen percent foreign sailors so as to be able to reap the benefits of what is happening in the world,’ he stated.
He explained that Nigerianisation of the NLNG Ship Management Limited started from inception with a policy to Nigerianise the shipping company.
He said: “Recognising the international nature of our trade, we felt it is expedient to have some sort of mixture amongst the seafarers, so we are keeping it up with 85 percent Nigerians and 15 percent foreigners.
‘‘We are doing so as to be able to reap the benefits of what is happening around that world with regards to the seafaring profession.”
Ahmed also explained why the company’s vessels are not registered in the Nigerian Ship Registry but in the Bermudian Ship Registry.
He said that none of the NLNG-NSML vessels are Nigerian flagged as the acquisition of the vessels were through international funding, adding that there were conditions tied to funding the acquisitions.
The NSML boss explained that the flagging or registration of vessels in Nigeria is a desire of the shipping arm of the NLNG but that regulation and other factors to make that work in Nigeria must be in place such that it also must be internationally accepted.
He stated that the financiers of the vessels insist that they must be flagged in an internationally accepted Ship Registry recognised by Lloyds listed flag state.
He stated: “There is a reason for not having these vessels registered in Nigeria and that is because the financials of these vessels give condition and some of the condition is to ensure that these vessels are flagged in internationally recognized Lloyds listed Ship Registries.
“That the sailors that will crew the vessels have trainings that are of international standard and from maritime institutions whose certificate are also accepted worldwide.
“We are collaborating with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA to building and developing capacity for the regulatory agency in Nigeria to ensure that its Registry is recognised and accepted, it is work in progress.
He added: “Most importantly is for shipping companies is that what you want is for your vessels to be accepted everywhere they go
“The flagging of vessels in Nigeria is a desire, it is an objective, it is a national objective and we at NMSL are happy to key into that but it requires a lot of work, it requires all hands to be on deck to ensure that we work together to build that agency where the Nigerian flag will be accepted internationally.
“We are working together with all the stakeholders to ensure that we actually achieve that goal. It is a process that has started and we believe that with the current management of NIMASA, we have started discussions and a body has been set up on the Nigerian Flag and we are contributing to that.”