Union alerts FG on illegal activities undermining national security
The Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO and WTSSA) have called on the Federal Government, the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to investigate the activities of illegal groups and associations, parading as maritime security experts with plans to bear arms.
President of the Merchant Navy Union, Bob Yousuo, in a statement issued to journalists in Lagos, said some seafarers’ associations and illegal bodies have been masquerading as security and training outfits, thereby extorting unsuspecting cadets.
Yousuo noted that Merchant Navy Officers all over the world are known to be disciplined and professional, adding that there is no Maritime Convention that mandates seafarers to carry arms globally, as it poses threats to national security.
He alleged that the industry has been saturated with fake marine “Captains” whose source of qualifications are questionable, as they engage in duping people in the name of issuing maritime security certificates that are not recognised in Nigeria and internationally.
“It is germane to know that in this era of insecurity, in every part of the country, one has to be careful about training people on security matters. The certificates issued by this group of people neither conform to ILO/IMO regulation nor in line with NIMASA requirements, which today stands as the only maritime regulatory agency.
“It becomes glaring that the fake bodies are the ones militarising our noble profession. They are bent on wearing uniforms day in, day out without any plans to go onboard vessels and work, hence the conflict with Nigerian Navy and other security authorities,” he lamented.
Yousuo said the establishment of Nigerian Navy (NN) is as a result of the security issues encountered by seafarers plying their trade in Nigeria territorial waters, adding that it is therefore the duty of Nigerian Navy to uphold our territorial boundaries and deal with the security challenges faced by seafarers.
He added that with the coming into force of the Deep Blue Sea project, the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not leaving any stone unturned to curb insecurity challenges in the country’s territorial waters.
He said though these bodies have CAC registration, it is not a yardstick to establishing a security outfit. Yousuo, however, called on the security authorities in Nigeria to hunt for these groups of people who address themselves as captains with their accomplices.
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