Nigerian Seafarers Group Secure over 200 Job Opportunities leveraging on Social Network


Eromosele Abiodun

Despite the difficulty in securing employment opportunities for Nigerian seafarers, a group of seafarers, which started as a WhatsApp platform in 2018 has secured over 300 job opportunities on coastal and international vessels.

The group established by three young seafarers; Jeremiah Emmanuel, Vincent Ajala and Franklin Anoyika, to address stereotypes encountered by Nigerian marine officers started with about 60 members, all licenced seafarers.

Although they are qualified seafarers, they faced the usual discrimination meted to Nigerians and were generally considered incompetent, but this unfair perception inspired the group to build a strong support system where capacity building, mentorship and information sharing thrived and the group has become a formidable network of seafarers with over 1000 professionals.

One of the founders, Mr. Jeremiah Emmanuel- a Nigerian Seafarer who works on-board as a Licenced Electro-Technical Officer (ETO) shared the experience with our correspondent, even as he revealed that the group is concluding plans to set-up its website.

His words: “We began as a WhatsApp group, sharing job opportunities among ourselves. We realised that young seafarers (officers)/Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) officers were finding it hard to get jobs and HR/Crewing agents specifically require recommendation from other officers they have worked with. Such referrals imply trust especially when ship owners still doubt if Nigerians can do the Job and HR/crewing agents have to convince them that Nigerians are competent.

“We also found out that some of our colleagues known to the crewing agents are almost always engaged when the crewing agents call. So, we decided that instead of letting the offer go or restricting it to let’s say five people out of which some are unavailable, we better create a group to post job offers and create opportunity for others who although qualified are out of work.”

He, however, expressed regret that during the 2020 celebration of the Day of the Seafarer, a ship owner said Nigerians are not competent.

“Well, he gave his reasons and as a person, I don’t like to argue with people because they may be talking from experience. Some people in our group were angry but I calmed them down and told them it is now up to us to prove him wrong. We need to be exemplary by changing our ways and letting him know that the Nigerian Seafarers are educated, competent and competing all over the world, “he said.

According to him, the group is bent on gradually filling the void created by the lack of jobs locally and internationally, adding that several job opportunities are posted on the group frequently and members apply in numbers.

“There is advantage in numbers because someone might be very competent and up to date but without knowledge or access to the advert or the Crewing Company, they won’t get the job opportunities.

Our forum has also been one focused on educating Nigerian Seafarers. You won’t believe that when we started, we found out that some Nigerians believed they cannot get international jobs with the licence issued by NIMASA! We thank God that’s a thing of the past now. Nigerians with NIMASA licence are now working and competing globally. We have members who are working and getting jobs in the Middle East and other African Nations with the Nigerian licence,”he added.

At the last count, more than 100 people have benefitted and more than 10 Nigerian ETOs are currently on international waters and the group has transmuted to telegram with over 1055 Nigerian mariners.