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L’Content crisis looms at Dangote Refinery as M’Navy petitions NIMASA on China

Based on what it described as observed domination of Cabotage trade by Chinese seafarers in the construction of Dangote Refinery in Lekki against Nigerian experts, the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) has sent a petition to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The petition dated 18th December 2018, and addressed to the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage at NIMASA read in parts: “Our attention has been drawn to the influx of Chinese Seafarers into the Nigeria Maritime industry in contravention of the Cabotage Act, 2003 and the oil and gas industry Local Content provisions.
“Information at our disposal reveals that a particular Refinery project at Lekki, Lagos shall be deploying two Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) and lay barge for its use. The vessels will be used for installation of pipelines, Single Bouy Mooring (SBM) and etc.
“The Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessel has minimum crew complement of twenty-two each and the lay barge is to carry 200 staff strength onboard. With their back to back, the total workforce would be 500 personnel approximately and the duration of the contract is two years plus.
“All Nigerians onboard the HYSY698 were sacked as we are also informed that the vessel HYSY698 managers said they do not need any Nigerian to work with them”.
A source at NIMASA confided in Business Hilights that the Federal Agency will investigate the issues raised in the petition and resolve them in line with extant laws to avoid job loss for Nigerians in Nigeria.
Though it did not give time frame for the resolution, it also revealed that NIMASA in line with its statutory functions is monitoring every development in the Nigerian maritime and territorial waters for safety and security proposes.