NIMASA, MWUN Secure UK Grant To Construct Seafarers Recreation Centre

L-R: The president general, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju; Executive director, operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Engr. Fatai Adeyemi; Director-general, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; Head, International Transport Workers Federation Seafarers Trust, Katie Higginbottom; ITF’s Francophone coordinator, Bayla Sow; ITF Seafarers’ Trust, grant manager, Luca Tommasi and Executive director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Jibril Abba during a meeting with the minister in Lagos.

In a significant stride toward enhancing the welfare of seafarers in Nigeria, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) UK has granted approval for a financial allocation to fund the construction of a Seafarers Recreation Centre.

This collaborative initiative involves the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), signifying a major advancement in infrastructural development within the maritime sector.

The head of the ITF Seafarers Trust Fund, Katie Higginbottom announced the grant during a meeting with the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, in Lagos over the weekend. Higginbottom praised MWUN and NIMASA for their unwavering commitment to the well-being of seafarers. She emphasised that the recreation centre would not only benefit Nigerian seafarers but also those in the broader West African region and beyond.

Higginbottom expressed confidence in the leadership of MWUN, led by Comrade Adeyanju and commended the DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh and his team at NIMASA for their dedication to seafarers’ welfare. The approval process for the grant endured three years of meticulous assessment, ensuring that investing in the Nigerian maritime industry is a secure and impactful decision.

Oyetola appreciated ITF’s trust in Nigeria and its commitment to direct foreign fund investment. He assured that the funds would be judiciously utilised, with the ministry closely monitoring NIMASA’s fulfillment of its obligations to the project. The minister acknowledged the sacrifices made by seafarers and commended the initiative, emphasising the government’s commitment to making Nigeria a major maritime nation.

Jamoh reiterated the agency’s dedication to seafarers’ well-being. He considered the recreation centre project a major infrastructural capital development that would contribute significantly to improving seafarers’ mental health and social integration.

Adeyanju highlighted the financial challenges faced by the country and expressed gratitude for the grant from ITF. He emphasised MWUN’s commitment to addressing the needs of seafarers and commended NIMASA for its continuous efforts.

The recreation centre, when completed, will serve as a pivotal point for both in-country and regional seafarers, providing a welcoming environment for those disembarking during port calls to experience the warmth of Nigerian hospitality. The project reflects a collaborative effort to elevate the standards of the maritime sector and prioritise the well-being of those who play a crucial role in driving the industry forward.

Oluchi Okorafor
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