Lagos, Sept. 21, 2023: The NLNG Shipping and Marine Services Ltd., says the organisation has employed over 6,000 seafarers, a way to encourage youth in shipping carriers.
The Chief Executive Officer, NLNG Shipping and Marine Services Ltd, Mr Abdul-Kadir Ahmed, said this at the Lagos International Maritime Week (LIMWeek 2023) organised by the ZOE Maritime Resources Ltd in Lagos on Thursday.
The week had the theme,” MARPOL at 50- Pollution from Ships, Africa’s Commitment to Clean Oceans Seas, Inland Waters and the Marine Environment.
MARPOL is an International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
According to Ahmed, the NLNG encourages youth to tap into the potential in the marine sector by encouraging them to be gainfully employed in the sector.
He added that as regard adopting the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standard on MARPOL Convention, the NLNG vessels are designed and built to the specification.
“NLNG has been able to design a system on its vessels to ensure that they fully comply with MARPOL convention.
“We ensure that we operate within the limit by developing a system to ensure that all our vessel comply 100 per cent with MARPOL regulations.
“We engage in treatment of waste, ballast water requirements and including carbonisation emission,”Ahmed said.
He urged that all port operators should understand the implications and provisions of the MARPOL convention and also the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which means safety at sea.
He pointed out that domestication of these conventions should not only mean passing the provisions into laws but should ensure how relevant industry key players would drive compliance in light of their ecosystem.
He, therefore, urged port operators on adopting notable changes in the conventions.
Ahmed further encouraged companies to take hints from NLNG who as a company had designed their vessels to be fully compliant with the conventions.
He said that industry players had a role to play in enforcement, noting that NLNG had also embarked on a cleaning initiative.
Also speaking, Mr Temisan Omatseye, former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), noted that to address ship pollutions on our waters, there was need to apply professionalism.
Omatseye pointed out that people do not want a change, adding that a change would not happen unless a round peg was put into round holes.
Omatseye added that the Nigeria’s saving grace was that she does not have a major disaster on its waters, as the moment that happen, the country would be in a mess, the ecosystem would fail.
He asked if this happen today, what would be our response mechanisms, who knows how to respond or who was capable of responding to the situation?
According to Omatseye, its not that we don’t have qualified Nigerians to do the job, it’s because we have allowed nepotism and lack of professionalism to rule our organisation.
“Rather than putting professionals there, we are putting people that are not qualified to be in certain positions, politicising positions.
“When I was the DG at NIMASA, we decided to restructure and imbibe on an organogram to have a professional organisation focused purely on functions.
“We have a clear cut job description for every staff that comes in and the training the person will get to get up to the position of even the Director General’s position so that the DG can be gotten from in-house professionals.
“In the board meeting when I made the presentation, only one in the midst of hundred people accepted that and since I presented that, NIMASA has never been structured,” he said.
He added that in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), an organisation that takes decision that relates everything shipping in the world, only one Nigerian was there.
Omatseye said that NIMASA had qualified personnel, but unfortunately, those qualified ones are removed from where they had a career path and taken to other departments like the admin.
“ We must get to a situation whereby people are allowed to furge a career path so that they can apply for international postings.
“We cannot become local champions in Africa, we must become international champions on international field,” he said.
LIMweek is a platform for learning, networking, expanding ones scope and others in the maritime sector.