‘Are Nigerian Seafarers Amongst Highest Paid Globally?’, Ogunsakin Queries MWUN’s Claims

By Sylvanus OBASI, Lagos

A renowned seafarer and merchant navy captain, Ogunsakin William has added his voice to counter the statement made recently by the Maritime Workers Union Of Nigeria, claiming that Nigerian Seafarers are one of the best paid in the world.

In response to the MWUN’s claim, Capt Ogunsakin responded with an article entitled, ARE NIGERIAN SEAFARERS AMONG THE HIGHEST PAID IN THE WORLD?”, a copy of which was made available to PLATFORM REPORTERS yesterday.

In his response, he wondered if the MWUN President wanted to say the opposite Adding that the labour union can speak for maritime workers and junior seamen known as ratings, but not seafarers.

PLATFORM REPORTERS got you covered with the full text of Capt Ogunsakin’s response. enjoy the excerpt below:

“What do we expect when people that are leading us are not current with what is happening in the industry presently. Many of the leaders are there just because we don’t have  seasoned seafarers who are ready to occupy those exalted positions, it is only when we are sure of the status of those saying that Nigerians are the best-paid seafarers in the World and that they have provided jobs for over 10,000 seafarers onboard, that they are current with what is happening in the industry locally and internationally, then can we engage them in an argument that they should  backup their claims with facts, otherwise, it will lead to efforts in futility as they cannot give what they do not have, or probably they have data that are not from Nigeria.

 I could not phantom how any Seafarer who is current with what manning agents and ship owners are doing to Nigerian Seafarers in his right judgement could claimed Nigerian Seafarers are the best paid seafarers in the World or that he has created job for over 10,000 seafarers in Nigeria. All these claims need to be investigated before coming into a conclusion. 

This went further to prove that some people are probably not sensitive to the cry and yearning of Nigerian Seafarers. It is important to find out from the MWUN President, Comrade Adeyanju if he meant what he said to the Visiting ITF Coordinator or it was a mistake. Could it be that he wanted to say Nigerian Seafarers are the worst paid Seafarers in the World occasioned by mental Slavery, Apartheid, Intimidation, Oppression and Suppression, Lack of Job Satisfaction and Job Security? 

Without doubt, MWUN is a Trade Union recognized by the Nigerian Constitution in-charge of Maritime Dock workers, Junior Staff of (NPA, Shippers Council, and other affiliated maritime providers), and other parastatals and Government establishments that have something to do with Maritime who are not Seafarers.

Added to these are Nigerian Junior Seafarers referred to as Ratings and Petty Officers who are not up to 30% of MWUN members. With this statistics, could it be right for MWUN to delve into representing the entire Nigerian seafarers?

Comrade Adeyanju should be commended for his outspokenness that defines him as a good leader on the aspect of maritime related workers and Seafarers Ratings he represents. However, it is important to inquire how he gathered the data that brought him to this conclusion that “Nigerian seafarers are now among the highest paid in the world”, adding that this is one of the major benefits of the Maritime Affiliate Support (MAS project) initiative of the International Transport Federation (ITF).

Engr Bob, President of Merchant Navy Officers

With all due respect, I request Comrade Adeyanju, The President of Nigerian Maritime Workers Union to clear the air with respect to what He meant by the above subject matter that is going Viral on social media.

I want to appeal to all Nigerian Seafarers to exercise caution in the way they respond to the assertion made by Comrade Adeyanju with respect to Nigerian Seafarers wages, pending the time he comes to clear the air, probably there are evidences backing his claims we are not aware of.

 Although, I would like to speak from the perspective of those of us “NIGERIANS” currently serving at sea, with all due respect Mr. President Nigerian Seafarers are among the least paid seafarers in the World, associated with poor welfare package, poorly arranged Time-off system, lack of job satisfaction and security.

President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Com Prince Adewale Adeyanju

Misapplication and misinterpretation of MLC 2006 has impacted negative effect and untold hardship on Nigerian Seafarers which originally, was designed to improve their wages and welfare package. Resultant effect is favoring Ship Owners and Manning Agents, leaving the Seafarers it was meant to protect to suffer.

While we look into the matter at hand, I would suggest the Government create an independent Task-Force/monitoring Team to investigate how Shipping companies and Manning agent have been applying the MLC 2006 to better the life of Seafarers including conduct of opinion pools from active Seafarers across board. This will facilitate proper application of MLC 2006 for the betterment of Nigerian Seafarers”.

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