The maritime branch of the Nigerian liquefied natural gas company, NLNG, Shipping Management Limited, SML said that Nigerian seafarers are the only group of tax-paying seafarers in the world.
Disclosing this at the annual conference of the Maritime Correspondents Association of Nigeria, SCAN, NLNG SML Fleet Manager Captain Yusuf Ambali said the payment of tax by Nigerian seafarers is against best practice. international and suggested that this practice should be stopped, as local authorities seafarers will continue to look to other countries where crewmen are not taxed.
He said, “Only Nigerian seafarers around the world pay taxes to the government; only in Nigeria as a company you are required to deduct his pension.
“I’m going to turn it around, imagine yourself as a sailor, company A is going to pay $100,000 and company B will pay you the same $100,000 but deduct 24% tax and 18% pension, for who would you work with?”
Ambali also said that only when the Nigerian seafarers certificate is accepted by other flag states can value be added to the seafarer’s work.
He explained that before a flag state can accept a nation’s seafarers’ certificate, the nation must be whitelisted by the International Maritime Organization, IMO, adding that for a country to be listed on the white list, there are audit exercises that must be performed.
He said: “As far as I know Nigeria has not requested for the audit to be carried out, the certificate currently issued is permitted for local voyages within our coastal waters but to go on international vessels especially with the certificate of competency , you need another flag state to accept your certificate and as I said it is just for us to have our maritime schools and institutions audited by the Nigerian Maritime Agency Maritime Administration and Safety, NIMASA and NIMASA, for other flag states to come and audit the schools.
“Maritime schools in Nigeria are at a level that will be accepted by flag states because of some of the things we have experienced overseas in maritime training.
“As I said earlier, it is a matter of deliberate approach on the part of us Nigerians and also the government to ensure that we market Nigerian seafarers.”