Seafarers’ welfare: NIMASA, MWUN partner ITF-UK for infrastructural development

The International Transport Workers’ Federation, United Kingdom (UK) has approved a grant to Nigeria through the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to build a seafarers’ recreation centre in partnership with the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The Head, ITF Seafarers Trust Fund, Katie Higginbottom, who announced this during a meeting with the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, in Lagos, at the weekend, noted that the grant was approved after an assessment of Nigeria’s suitability.

In her brief to the minister, she commended MWUN and NIMASA for their commitment to seafarers’ wellbeing.

Higginbottom said, “The centre will serve not only Nigerian seafarers but also others in the West African region and beyond. We have absolute faith and trust in the Comrade Adeyanju-led MWUN and we are very pleased with Dr Bashir Jamoh and his team at NIMASA for their enthusiasm towards seafarers’ welfare. MWUN has built up their credibility within the ITF family and we are pleased to partner them and NIMASA on this project.

“The grant approval process endured three years of rigorous assessment and we are satisfied that it is safe to invest in the Nigerian maritime industry. Our visit to Nigeria is for site inspection so the project can commence.”

Oyetola appreciated the ITF for trusting Nigeria with direct foreign fund investment in the country with an assurance that it will be judiciously utilised, adding that the ministry will ensure NIMASA fulfils its own obligations to the project.

The minister said, “Seafarers are the real drivers of the maritime industry. They sacrifice a lot for human existence, spending most of their time away from family and onboard vessels. So creating this opportunity for social interaction is encouraging and commendable. I commend your decision to personally come to Nigeria and see things for yourself. It shows that you are committed to the project.

“To ensure judicious use of your grant, I want to assure you that the Nigerian government will ensure the project is completed in record time. The fact that President Bola Tinubu established a standalone ministry for the maritime industry shows Nigeria’s commitment to make the country a major maritime nation.

“I want to assure you that the grant will be put to use as expected. The Federal Government, through our ministry, will closely monitor the project. I commend the DG NIMASA, Dr Jamoh and the MWUN President General, Comrade Adeyanju, for their vision and effort.”

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On his part, the NIMASA DG, Dr Jamoh, restated the commitment of the agency, under the supervision of the ministry, to continuously invest in the well-being of seafarers.

He said, “We at NIMASA welcome this project wholeheartedly. We consider this project a major infrastructural capital development for seafarers welfare, hence we keyed into it. It will go a long way in improving the mental health of seafarers and assist their social integration having spent much of their time out there on the seas.

“I am pleased that our challenge to MWUN some years ago is bearing positive fruits. This is a result of the constant engagement sessions we always have with Comrade Adeyanju who believes in dialogue. Since our minister has sanctioned this project, I can assure you that NIMASA will meet its obligations.”

President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adeyanju, noted that the quest to better the lot of seafarers informed their decision to seek funding from the United Kingdom-based ITF.


Tribune Online