*Embarks on Clean Water Initiative Campaign
No fewer than 681 seafarers have been employed by the NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML), the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Abdul-Kadir K. Ahmed has said.
A breakdown of the seafarers showed that while 286 are officers, 332 are ratings, and 63 are shore staff.
Ahmed who disclosed this in a media engagement with maritime editors in Lagos recently also revealed that not less that 85 percent of the company employees are Nigerians while 15 percent are expatriates.
He boasted that going by the high number of seafarers in the firm, NSML remains the highest employer of seafarers in the country.
Ahmed expressed appreciation to what he called the “immense contribution” of seafarers to the shipping world, pointing out that without them “we would not have been where we are today as a company”.
He stated that the firm which is a subsidiary of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) will continue to drive its indigenization policy so that over time, there will be little or no foreigner among its employees.
The NSML helmsman also gave reasons why vessels owned by its parent company, NLNG are not Nigerian flagged.
He revealed that the NLNG ships are flagged in Bermuda to ensure that the vessels are recognized and accepted all over the world rather making them Nigerian flagged and they begin to have issues of acceptance and recognition in some parts of the globe.
His words: “All our vessels are Bermuda flagged. They are not Nigerian flagged. This is because they were International Finance Corporation (IFC) financed vessels. We want to be flagged in a country that wherever the vessels go, they will be recognized and accepted. What sense does it make to flag the vessels in Nigeria and they are not accepted globally? What are we going to achieve by so doing? We are doing international business and we have to follow internal standards and procedures”.
He also stated that the firm is presently carrying out the dry docking of its vessels overseas due to the fact that the present dry docking facilities in the country lacked the capacity to handle the LNG vessels owned by the firm.
“At the moment, there is no dry dock facility that can handle LNG vessels in Nigeria. That is why we are presently dry docking our vessels overseas. However, we hope to start doing so in the country as soon as the one that has the capacity to handle our vessels is established in Nigeria”, he added.
The NSML helmsman also said that the clean water initiative campaign of the firm is dear to it and it would continue to drive it in the years ahead.
According to him, the clean water initiative campaign was part of NSML corporate social responsibility (CSR) to highlight the effects of plastics, debris and other maritime litters on the waterways in Nigeria. The initiative focuses on actions, advocacy and public awareness campaign to tackle the devastating effects of plastics, debris, litters on the aquatic ecosystem; and their overall impact on the global maritime environment. It is also an integral part of NSML corporate brand management plan activities.
He explained that the initial scope is NSML primary areas of operation (AOP), the NLNG Terminal in Bonny, as well as the ISB/OSB Jetty in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
The plan is to ensure the proper clean-up and maintenance of the waterways at these AOPs; whilst extending the initiative in subsequent years to the inland waterways in Rivers State; and subsequently the national space.
Ahmed revealed that the initiative was launched at the occasion to mark the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 World Maritime Day which took place in September 2020.
He added that in line with the theme of the event “Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet”, the firm kick-off the campaign by organising a clean-up exercise of the NLNG Bonny waterfront.
Describing the campaign as a “huge success”, he stated that NSML plans to extend its implementation in the years ahead once it get what he called “the requisite approval and guidance” of its Board of Directors.