NIMASA’s axe dangles over erring stevedores …Directs registered firms to begin operation
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA has warned that it would deal with stevedoring companies who fail to comply strictly with the guidelines set out in the Stevedoring Regulation, 2014.
NIMASA, which is statutorily charged with the responsibility of regulating maritime labour in the country has also directed all duly registered stevedoring firms with operational areas allotted by the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, which are yet to start operation, to mobilise their workers to operational locations without further delay.
Director-General of the agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who issued these directives via a marine notice, warned that NIMASA shall enforce the guidelines set out in the Stevedoring Regulation, 2014 in addition to other penalties, which include but not limited to detention of vessels, sealing of operational area or work location, and prosecution.
The notice further urges these affected firms, which are yet to commence operations to report any encumbrances to the agency for prompt action.
These directives, it was learnt, are in tandem with the Stevedoring Regulation, 2014, gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria and developed pursuant to the NIMASA Act, 2007, which provides that: “Every dock labour employer or stevedoring company shall provide proper and safe working conditions for the convenience and proper working of its employees and ensure that all stevedoring plants and equipment supplied and being used in their operations are safe and in good condition”.
It was further gathered that the agency has also notified all operators of ports, jetties, onshore or offshore oil and gas or bonded terminals, Inland Dry Ports IDPs, offshore dock terminals, dry ports and platforms, and other work locations to grant all duly appointed stevedoring companies access to their premises for commencement of operations.
The Marine Notice also reads in part: “Only corporate bodies duly registered in Nigeria would be allowed to employ dock labour or engage in stevedoring work on board or from ships. Such corporate entities must have satisfied the requirements for registration specified in the Stevedoring Regulation, 2014, and obtained a Stevedoring license from NIMASA.
“Employers of dock labour or stevedoring companies are therefore mandated to provide adequate insurance cover for health, personal injury, loss of earnings, and compensation, relating to any incident affecting dockworkers or stevedores in the course of the work of the dock labour employer or the stevedoring company”.
NIMASA while restating its commitment towards effective maritime labour regulation in the country assured that it will always protect the interest of both dock labour employers and employees alike.