The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has said that the welfare of dockworkers and their training are priority of the agency.
This is contained in a statement made available by the Head of Corporate Communication Team of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka on Friday in Lagos.
The director-general stated this when he received the leadership of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) led by the President-General, Mr Tony Nted at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
The NIMASA boss said that maritime workers were very important to the development of the maritime sector and by extension the Nigerian economy, adding that their welfare issues must always be on the front burner.
He commended the leadership of the union for the role it played in the past in maintaining industrial peace in the sector.
Peterside said that the impact of a crisis-ridden maritime sector on the Nigerian economy could better be imagined.
The director-general said that maritime workers were the agency’s strategic partners, saying that NIMASA would 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 director-general said.
Peterside said that the process of dockworkers’ registration and issuance of biometric identity cards was on-going.
“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,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quote the director-general as saying.
In his response, the MWUN president-general commended the management of NIMASA for its new drive of ensuring a stakeholders’ driven maritime sector.
Nted advised the management of the agency to pay more attention to training of dockworkers and their welfare.
He said that there was the need to revisit the pooling system of dockworkers which was very effective in monitoring of activities of the maritime workers in the ports and on board vessels by the relevant Agencies.
It would be recalled that NIMASA recently mediated in the dispute between the dockworkers and the operators of the ENL Terminal to ensure that the workers’ interests were protected and for industrial harmony. (NAN)