Nigerian seafarers kick against imposition of DPR permit fees
Seafarers under the aegis of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO/WTSSA) have kicked against alleged exploitation by some oil and gas offshore companies. The companies allegedly mandated Nigerian seafarers to foot the bill of acquiring Offshore Safety Permit (OPS) introduced by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The President of the union, Bob Joseph Yousuo, who condemned the act of compelling seafarers to pay for the OSP certificate or permit, vowed to put an end to such injustices against seafarers under his leadership.
It was gathered that DPR introduced the OSP, a requirement posed by IOCs for seafarers to obtain at a fee. The seafarers union has raised the alarm over the directive while urging seafarers to report such cases and not to accept such responsibilities.
In a statement issued by the Secretary-General of the association, John Aleakhue Okpono, Yousuo noted that Nigerian seafarers or mariners are guided by maritime conventions and guidelines from the maritime regulatory body, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
He said with this, it is therefore not appropriate for anybody, group or even regulatory body outside NIMASA to suddenly impose permit, with the cost is to be borne by Nigerian seafarers.
“We as seafarers are governed by International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions and the Standard Training and Certification Watch keep (STCW’95), which is compulsory for seafarers’ to undergo tanker familiarisation, personal safety and social responsibilities.
“Others include personal survival techniques, fire preventing and fire-fighting, elementary first aid and proficiency in security awareness and other advanced courses.
“DPR is for oil and gas operation and any company under their purview is expected to meet their requirements by way of paying for the cost of their permit (OSP) and not the seafarers who have gotten the required COCs as enshrined in the STCW ’95,” the president explained.
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