The National President of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola has lamented that the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has relegated issues of maritime labour in Nigeria to the background. Sunmola stated this at a stakeholders’ forum organised by NIMASA in Lagos recently. He lamented that the Dakuku Peterside-led administration of NIMASA has equally failed to implement the NIMASA Stevedoring Regulation, 2014.
According to him, if properly implemented, the stevedoring sector of the nation's economy has capacity to create a huge employment for the teeming youths causing restiveness in the South South region of the country. Shipping Position Daily recalls that the old agency responsible for maritime workers, Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC) was merged with the National Maritime Authority (NMA) on the 1st August 2006 to create NIMASA. Speaking on this, Sunmola said that "NIMASA Act 2007 Section 23 spelt out labour issues, we knew how this came about, the old labor agency is now subsumed into NIMASA and since we had that, the issue of labor has been relegated into the background, labor in the maritime industry has not had the adequate exposure that we are expecting" "The issue of concession came and reduced the practice, power and workability of the stevedoring group" "There is a retrogression and downward trend of this section of the maritime industry and unfortunately NIMASA is trying their best but much more is still being expected and this is why issue of subsidiary legislation were agitated by the last regime but the implementation is what we are still looking forward to but we are engaging the Director General and the Executive Directors on this" "It is very important for unemployment to be addressed if this area is looked into. The restive nature we are having in the south south would reduce drastically has a great number of employment can generate from this sector", he said.