From left: Executive Director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Rt. Hon Victor Ochei; President, National Association of Stevedoring Companies NASC, Bolaji Sunmola; Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Executive Director, Operations, NIMASA, Shehu Ahmed and Executive Director, Finance & Administration, NIMASA,  Hon. Chudi Offodile during a courtesy visit by NASC to the agency in Lagos recently.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA has restated its commitment towards strict implementation of the 2014 Stevedoring Regulations, as part of measures to safeguard the interest and welfare of the dockworkers.

 Director-General of the agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who made the commitment, spoke when the leadership of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies NASC paid him a courtesy visit at the NIMASA headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.

The DG who sought to close ranks with the association with a view to making achieving a greater involvement of the stevedoring companies in the ongoing effort to amend the NIMASA Act, also pledged to work more closely with the NASC to improve the working conditions of dockworkers in the country.

 “We understand our responsibility towards the dockworkers and we are committed to ensuring that their rights and welfare are safeguarded at all times. Our recent directive to registered stevedoring companies, via a marine notice, to mobilise to their work locations and commence operation is in line with that commitment. 

“NIMASA is, as always, willing and available to assist dockworkers. We remain committed to facilitating an enabling environment for stevedores to operate, and thrive.

“As an agency, we need closer partnership with the stevedoring companies and, indeed, more participation from you in the current effort to amend the NIMASA Act and realise a more robust law that works for all of us.

 “But we also urge the NASC to be more proactive in communicating challenges you face to facilitate more timely interventions by the agency”, the DG said

He expressed appreciation to the NASC on the steps the leadership was taking to improve capacity and welfare of stevedoring contractors, adding that closer collaboration between the association and NIMASA would result in more efficient operations at the ports and better working conditions for the dockworkers.

Meanwhile, President of NASC,  Bolaji Sunmola, who led the delegation, disclosed that since its inception, the association had provided a platform for discussion, formulation, and implementation of policies affecting maritime labour, with focus on cargo handling operations.

Sunmola added that assisting NIMASA in the administration of maritime labour, as specified in the relevant enabling Acts, remained a primary focus of the NASC.

He acknowledged the ongoing efforts of NIMASA to enforce the new Stevedoring Regulations and reiterated his association’s readiness to work with the Agency to successfully implement the regulations aimed at improving revenue generation and sustaining capacity building within the maritime industry.