By RICHARDS ADENIYI
THE Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has again restated the Agency’s commitment towards ensuring that welfare of dockworkers are not treated with kid’s gloves.
The DG made this commitment when the leadership of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) led by the President General, Comrade Anthony Nted Emmanuel paid courtesy visit to the Agency’s Headquarters in Lagos, recently.
The NIMASA helmsman said that maritime workers are very important to the development of the maritime sector and by extension the Nigerian economy and that their welfare issues must always be at the front burner.
He commended the leadership of MWUN for the role played in the past in maintaining industrial peace in the sector stating that the impact of a crisis ridden maritime sector on the Nigerian economy can better be imagined.
The DG stated that Maritime Workers are the Agency’s strategic partners and that NIMASA will ensure the training of dockworkers as well as create an enabling environment for them to work.
“We consider maritime workers our strategic partners whose input, support and dedication we cherish. Our role therefore is to ensure that they work under the right conditions that are in line with the ILO and IMO instruments”, the DG said.
Dr. Peterside also said that the process of Dockworkers registration and issuance of biometric identity cards is on-going.
According to the DG, “We have already initiated the process of the issuance of biometric identity cards for Dockworkers as part of our automation process in line with our digital transformation strategy”.
In his response, the President General of MWUN commended NIMASA’s Management for its new drive of ensuring a stakeholders’ driven maritime sector. He advised the management of tahe Agency to pay more attention to training of dockworkers and their welfare.
Comrade Emmanuel also observed that there is a need to revisit the pooling system of dockworkers which was very effective in the monitoring of activities of the maritime workers in the Ports and on board vessels by relevant Agencies.
It would be recalled that NIMASA recently mediated in the dispute between the Dockworkers and the operators of the ENL terminal in order to continue to ensure that the workers’ interests are protected and ensure that industrial harmony is maintained in the maritime industry.