Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, of NIMASA, Engr. Victor Ochei (middle) presents a biometric Identitification Card to President General, Maritime Workers’ Union MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju (right) while the agency’s head, Maritime Labour Services, Aliyu Lawan looks on during the official launch of the maritime labour e-registration platform and issuance of Biometric Identity Cards to dockworkers in Lagos, recently.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has deployed the electronic registration platform for maritime workers, which also encompasses the issuance of Biometric Identification Cards to dockworkers.

Director General of the agency, Dr Bashir Jamoh, while speaking at the official launch, described the e-platform as a major step towards attaining full automation of all its processes. He disclosed that the platform was conceived out of the need to establish an independent, robust, integrated information, verification and communication platform that would engender database generation on maritime labour in Nigeria.

Represented at the event by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Engr. Victor Ochei, the DG stated that the automation of the agency’s processes would benefit the industry both in terms of efficiency and cost reduction, thereby improving on service delivery, as well as building capacity of the maritime workforce.

“I am particularly delighted about the prospect of eliminating the time consuming process of seafarers and employers’ registration, which is what the e-Platform would provide. It is further expected that the e-Platform would promote a seamless registration process that will culminate with the issuance of biometric identity cards to seafarers and dockworkers”.

“I wish to reiterate the agency’s commitment towards actualising its mandate as provided in the enabling Act. Our resolve to make life meaningful to the entire maritime labour remains firm and we intend to achieve this through sustainable efforts in capacity building and improved welfare. The Agency is also prioritising the training of Nigerian seafarers to meet industry needs with emphasis on specialized and advanced trainings”, the DG said.

Jamoh further stated that the agency would remain committed to building capacity for Nigeria’s seafarers and dockworkers in order to improve on the standing of the country’s maritime industry among the comity of maritime nations.

Meanwhile, President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, expressed delight with the automation of maritime labour registration processes by NIMASA, stating that the agency has proven that it was indeed committed to improving standards in the Nigerian maritime sector especially in terms of labour practices and capacity development.

Major industry stakeholder in attendance at the event include representatives of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service and Commissioner of Police, Apapa Port Command, among several others.