By Godfrey Bivbere & Cynthia Alo
THE Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, NMNOWTSSA, has denied reports linking piracy attacks on the nation’s waterways to seafarers.
The Union explained that the report that was recently carried in some sections of the media is a mere move by unscrupulous individuals to tarnish the image of seafarers noting that no qualified seafarer will be involved in such illegal act.
Speaking on the issue, Vice National President of NMNOWTSSA’s Shipping Unit, Mr Reginald Onyenobi, told Vanguard Maritime Report that it is possible that persons with seafaring experience could engage in such but that no certified and practising seafarer would attack people on board.
He said: “Some people might have worked in the sea and understand sea job especially those who work on cliques but most of them might not be certified seafarers. so, for you to go on board and rob you must have sea fearing experience, I have no doubt about that but those involved in this act are not satisfied and practising seafarers.”
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He further explained that for a person to have a degree in seafaring does not qualify such persons saying, “The fact that you enter University and study law doesn’t make you a lawyer it’s also the same thing for the fact that you entered Maritime school and study any Maritime related course does not make you a seafarer.
“So, it is when you have obtained the necessary certificate including your Certificate of Competency, COC that you can be called a certified seafarer,” he added.