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Professional divers decry FG’s neglect, marginalisation

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National Association of Professional Divers (NAPROD) has decried marginalisation and knowledge drain, following the Federal Government’s neglect of its members.

It lamented that several skilled divers were jobless, drained of their knowledge and expertise, while some national and sundry foreigners were improving at their expense.

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President of NAPROD, Yamboizibe Elwick Dickson, stated this in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, at the inauguration of its 2021/2022 Executive Council.

Noting that Nigerian divers were some of the best globally, given their achievements over the years, Dickson described their neglect and marginalisation as “sad and a misnomer.”

He, however, expressed hope that the Ministry of Labour and Employment in collaboration with the Diving Governing Board and other agencies would work towards improving the working conditions of Nigerian divers.

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He argued that if government prioritises the industry, it would get a boost and compete favourably with divers in other parts of the world.

“It is a common knowledge that the Nigerian professionals over the years have been systematically demoralised, marginalised and placed a disadvantaged position, while foreigners improve at their expense.

“This is a misnomer that this administration will aggressively tackle with the Diving Governing Board and other government agencies notably the Ministry of Labour and Employment in improving the working conditions of the average Nigerian diver,” he stated.

He commended the Ministry of Labour and Employment under Minister, Chris Ngige and the Minister of State, Festus Keyamo for their role in setting up the Diving Governing Board.

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Dickson, however, expressed the hope that having successfully initiated and established the board in conjunction with the ministry, the Nigerian diving industry would be driven in such a manner that the average Nigerian divers would regain their dignity, self-esteem and be better positioned for greater advantages.

He further expressed delight that his administration was coming at a time when the industry was ready to shift from the mundane, exploitative days of the industry to a modern, organised and nationalistic drive for excellence, safety and improved welfare for divers.

The NAPROD President also charged members of the association to eschew their differences and selfish ambitions and to work together to enable them to achieve the greater feat and impact better on the nation’s economy.

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