Challenges Faced by Nigerian Seafarers in Obtaining International Certification

Seafarers are seeking certification in Ghana due to limitations imposed by NIMASA in Nigeria. The Co-founder of MOFN, Emmanuel Jeremiah, urges the agency to remove restrictions on OOW licenses. Nigerian seafarers face challenges securing foreign employment opportunities due to the lack of MoUs with top shipping nations. Ghana offers more advantageous training and employment conditions.
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Seafarers in Nigeria are facing challenges in obtaining certification that would allow them to work on international vessels due to restrictions imposed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). As a result, many seafarers are now seeking certification in Ghana, where they can obtain an unlimited Officer of the Watch (OOW) license without the limitations imposed by NIMASA. The Co-founder of Maritime Officers Forum Nigeria (MOFN) has called for NCV to be removed from the OOW license to align with global standards.

The lack of opportunities for Nigerian seafarers to work on foreign vessels has been attributed to the absence of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements with top shipping nations. This has led to Nigerian seafarers facing challenges in securing employment opportunities on foreign vessels, while their counterparts from countries like Ghana and Cameroon have been able to find opportunities on ocean-going vessels. The poor remuneration, welfare, and treatment of seafarers in Nigeria have made foreign opportunities more appealing.

The inability of Nigerian seafarers to secure employment on foreign vessels has also been linked to issues such as the country’s image in the international community, the absence of MoUs with key shipping nations, and complications in obtaining passports. While Ghana has been successful in securing MoUs with countries like the UK, Nigeria has struggled to establish similar agreements, leading to Nigerian seafarers being overlooked for opportunities on foreign vessels. Additionally, there is a lack of insurance packages for seafarers in Nigeria, further contributing to the challenges faced by maritime professionals in the country.

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