NIMASA pledges better living conditions for dockworkers … As STOAN, MWUN others hail agency
From left: Executive Director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Mr. Gambo Ahmed, , Chairman Ports Consultative Council PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin and Director, Maritime Labour Services of the agency, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril during the National Joint Industrial Council NJIC, meeting in Lagos recently.
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has restated its commitment towards ensuring the welfare of dockworkers in Nigeria’s maritime industry, which he believes remains the surest way in sustaining industrial harmony in the industry.
It was in line with this commitment that the agency organised a meeting with the National Joint Industrial Council NJIC, which is the umbrella association for all dock labour employers and labour unions in the maritime industry in Lagos recently.
The NJIC is the body responsible for negotiating and reviewing of minimum standards for dock labour, which successfully reviewed the last Collective Bargaining Agreement CBA, that lapsed on May 31, 2018. The CBA is subject to review every two years.
Meanwhile, the Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria STOAN, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN and many other stakeholders have commended the agency for its efforts towards ensuring industry peace and harmony, which they argued is contributing to the growth and development of the industry.
Chairman of the NJIC, who doubles as the Executive Director of the agency in charge of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Gambo Ahmed, while speaking at the meeting, noted that the initiative was with a view to using the tool of constant engagement to ensure that the dock workers get better living conditions in line with international labour laws.
Mr. Gambo urged the operators to bear in mind that the welfare of the dockworkers will impact a lot on the ports industry and also in turn the entire economy, hence the need to ensure that they are properly catered for. “When the welfare of the dockworkers are put into proper perspective, we have a healthy maritime industry, thereby leading to the actualisation of a robust economy”, the chairman stated.
Also speaking at the event, Director, Maritime Labour Services of the agency, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril, disclosed that the new agreement is a demonstration of the agency’s commitment towards ensuring the welfare of the dockworkers , which is in line with the theme of the recently concluded107th International Conference held in Geneva.
The theme of the 2018 edition of the annual labour global event was: “A future with Decent Work and also building a future for the Dock Labour Industry”.
The director also disclosed that the agency has put in place all necessary machineries towards ensuring a successful exercise in line with the provisions of the existing agreement and the demand for its review.
Chairman, Ports Consultative Council PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin who represented the STOAN, the umbrella body for all port concesionaires in the country, also commended NIMASA for its role in maintaining the already existing peace in the ports industry and expressed optimism that the negotiation will yield positive results as all parties involved will work as a team and ensure that no dock worker was short-changed.
Other stakeholders at the meeting were the President General of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and the President of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies NASC, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola who unanimously agreed that they will all work harmoniously with the agency to sustain peace and harmony in the industry.
Stakeholders at the event also used the opportunity to assure NIMASA of their continuous support and cooperation.
Recall that the NIMASA Act 2007, which created the agency by merging the defunct National Maritime Authority NMA, Government Inspectorate of Shipping GIS, and Joint Maritime Industrial Labour Council JOMALIC, confers on it the statutory responsibility to regulate dock labour including setting minimum standards as provided section 27 (1) (b) of the Act.