The Director General Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh has charged employers of labour to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasizing the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.
Delivering his welcome address at the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos on Thursday with the theme “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity”,
Jamoh noted that it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just to appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well – being.
According to him “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month”.
“As a maritime safety administration, the agency is committed to developing an indigenous maritime capacity through the training and re-training of the dock labour force, to make them more vibrant and amenable to current trends in the Industry,” he said.
Jamoh assured that the agency, under his watch, would strive to create an enabling environment for maritime labour to operate in line with international best practices.
“As the authority for the implementation of International Labour Organisation conventions and regulations, NIMASA will also conduct its maritime-related affairs in the spirit of consultation with all relevant stakeholders, aimed at promoting a decent work agenda and moving the industry forward,” he said.
Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas”.
The NIMASA Director-General, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that would enable them carry out stevedoring activities in the assigned operational areas.
He pointed out that the appeal became necessary, given the numerous complaints by stevedores.
On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, he thanked the NIMASA Management for organizing the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.
In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).
Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.