Nigeria Loses Competent Seafarers Over Tax Law

Nigeria Loses Competent Seafarers Over Tax Law
Despite presence of few local seafarers in the maritime sector, Nigeria has continued to lose its qualified seafarers to other nations due to its stringent tax laws.

This is partly, because, while seafarers in some maritime domains across the world are exempted from paying taxes since the World trade and globalisation depend on them, Nigeria appears to be the only country in the world where seafarers are subjected to compulsory taxes and pension before receiving their salaries.

This is the reason qualified seafarers now prefer foreign shipping companies to the domestic shipping firms.

A typical example is the Nigeria LNG Ship Management Limited (NSML), a subsidiary of Nigeria LNG Limited.

Speaking during an annual conference, with the theme: “NLNG Vessels Movement and Challenges organised by the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria (SCAN) in collaboration with NLNG, the Fleet Manager, NSML, Hambali Yusuf, said said that Nigeria is losing so many seafarers to foreign countries due to tax issue, adding that in India, there are exceptions to tax payments for seafarers.

According to him, this problem has seen many top seafarers jettison the NLNG shipping after attaining global status.

He explained: “In India, if you are not in the country for seven months, you won’t pay any tax. But in Nigeria, if you are not around for a whole year, you are still going to pay taxes and you know the tax es are graded depending on your grade.

“If you are a seafarer, and you see where you can go and be paid fully without tax being deducted, won’t you like to go there?”

He said that there is a need for advocacy to let the government know how these things are done outside the country.

“There needs to be advocacy to let the government know what is obtainable elsewhere. Some international seafarers don’t bother with pensions.

“Imagine that you’re a seafarer and Company A will pay you €88.68 monthly and Company B in Nigeria will also pay €88.68 but deduct a certain percentage as pension and a certain percentage as tax. You’ll definitely want to work with company A where you get all your money. It’s only in Nigeria that seafarers pay taxes.

“In India, seafarers would spend over seven months on sea and taxes will be waived but Nigerian seafarers spend the whole year and still pay taxes and pension,” he said.

He said that in Nigeria, pensions are deducted in Dollars but paid back to them in Naira.

Managing Director, NSML, Abdulkadir Ahmed, said company is vigorously implementing the Seafarers Continuous Development Program (SCDP), in conjunction with NIMASA, to ensure development and continuous supply of certified, competent, and qualified Nigerian seafarers

According to him, the over 107 Nigerians have successfully completed their training under the Maritime Centre of Excellence (MCoE).

Meanwhile, he said the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Ship Management Limited, Bonny Terminal, has been the first port in sub-Saharan Africa to be certified as the Ecoport Port Environmental Review System (PERS) certification.

He added that the Ecoport Port Environmental Review System (PERS) certification is the only port sector specific environmental management standard, mainly achieved by leading ports, terminals globally.

However, he explained that as part of the services,  MCoE was saddled with the responsibility of administering the Seafarers Continuous Development Programme (SCDP); an NSML scheme aimed at providing training berth spaces for Nigerian cadets onboard the NSML-managed vessels.

“The MCoE is also currently supervising the construction of a newbuild LPG vessel of a Nigerian company in the Hyundai Mipo Shipyard in Korea. This is a further testament of NSML’s capabilities of delivering complex maritime projects to the overall benefits of her clients-specifically- and the nation generally.

“NSML’s success stories, anchored on the core values of Professionalism, Teamwork, Efficiency and Caring, all point to the steady and remarkable progress in the last 12-years since it commenced operations.”

Ahmed stressed that NSML was strategically positioned to ensure that it continues to play a leading and enabling role in the global maritime sector, enhancing the business of NLNG as a primary stakeholder and by extension the global energy market. On  paucity of qualified and competent officers globally, Ahmed noted that there was a global shortage of skilled officers in the maritime industry.

He said: “Industry sources point to an increasing demand for qualified seafarers, particularly the officers, and this situation is expected to persist into the future. Diminishing attractiveness of a career at sea, coupled with rising man-berth ratios and a continued fleet growth is likely to result in the highest shortfall of officers in the coming years.”

Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus (0 )
%d bloggers like this: