By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, Aug. 3, 2020 Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), on Monday has called on dock labour employers and private operators to comply with government directive on the use of registered stevedores and dockworkers.
The President General of MWUN, Mr Adewale Adeyanju made the call in a statement in Lagos.
Adeyanju said that the registered stevedores and dockworkers are government approved and endorsed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
“We the maritime workers union of Nigeria, wish to call the attention of the general public to a ‘Marine Notice tagged, ‘Government Notice No. 106’ on Stevedoring regulations, 2014, issued by the NIMASA which has been widely published in the print and electronic media.
“The Marine Notice, as well as the Associated Stevedoring Regulation 2014, are operational guidelines issued by NIMASA to all dock labour employers and private operators of any work location.
“It also include Ports, Jetties, Onshore or Offshore Oil and Gas or bonded terminals, inland container depots (ICDs), off dock terminals, dry ports and platforms.
“We have noticed with dismay that some of the stakeholders mentioned have continued to flay this government directive by their blatant refusal to grant the government appointed and NIMASA registered stevedores and dock workers access to the operational areas allocated to them by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
“This is not acceptable to us, as we cannot sit back, fold our arms and watch our members being disallowed to perform their statutory duties that fetch them their daily bread.
“We therefore use this medium to sound a note of warning to those stakeholders who feel that they can always flout government directive with impunity and in effect expose our members to starvation, to have a rethink.
“They should allow the government approved and NIMASA registered stevedores and dock workers access, without let or hindrance, the operational areas government allocated to them to perform their legitimate duties,” he said.
Adeyanju said that the union would not hesitate to engage, in a manner that had never been witnessed in the land, such stakeholders that see themselves as above the law.
The MWUN leader, however, applauded the Director General, NIMASA , Dr Bashir Jamoh for the numerous successes recorded in his first 100 days in office.
He said that the energy and innovation Jamoh had brought into the agency was a pointer to many laudable achievements in the pipeline.
Adeyanju also acknowledged and commended the commitment Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, the Managing Director, NPA, for the payment of severance package to the erstwhile Tally Clerks and On-Board ship gangway security men and others.
He, however, requested the managing director to look into the lingering issue of dredging the Calabar channel which would positively boost trade and commerce in the Niger Delta area.
This, according to him, will further help boost revenue to the federal government coffers while also creating employment for Nigerians.
“We want to assure the public of our readiness to partner with the two government agencies in maintaining peace and industrial harmony in the maritime sector.
“We will continue to do so, as long as fairness, equity and justice which they have brought to bear in the system is maintained,” he said.