From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
A group, Bonny indigenous Pilot and Seafarers Association, have lamented neglect by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), operating within the Bonny Island to engage them in skilful activities in the Federal Government agency.
The group also lamented that multinationals operating in the Bonny Island would prefer to engage foreigners or non indigenes in service than recognize their skillful experiences in maritime service.
The group made the allegations in a press release signed by their Chairman, Mr Allwell S. Banigo, while outlining challenges faced by the Bonny indigenous maritime group amidst multinationals in their land.
Banigo said as indigent maritime organization, that they have written to relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector, oil multinationals operating in Bonny and its waterways to work with them, but the companies were yet comply.
He accused the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) of bringing expatriates to train non indigent mariners in Bonny, at the detriment of Bonny indigent mariners.
He said: “We have observed that the Nigerian Ports Authority operating within Bonny Island is not willing to train and employ Bonny indigent youths.
“We have observed that multinationals, IOC’s operating in Bonny and its environs are not willing to employ our Bonny indigent cadets and mariners in their marine section even if the indigent mariners are qualified.
“It is sad to note that multinationals, IOC’s operating within Bonny Island chose to give marine logistics contracts to foreigners or people from a distance other than indigent marine contactors”.
The group called on “Federal Government agencies like NIMASA to intervene in the Maritime Labour Regulation, Cabotage Enforcement, Training and Certification of Seafarers, and Maritime Capacity Development between our organizations and multinationals, IOC’s operating in Bonny Island.
“We are also calling on the Nigerian Ports Authority to intervene and start training our members in the operations of the Bonny sea ports. We equally call on relevant National Assembly Committees like: The Chairman Senate Committee on Maritime Transport. Senator Ahmed Sanni, The Chairman House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration. Hon. Umar Bago to intervene and do justice in this situation before it constitutes a form of hindrance to the smooth process of the Nigerian LNG Train 7 Project”.