By DAPO OLAWUNI
Under normal circumstances, all dockworkers operating at Nigerian Ports are expected to be identified by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and issued a Biometric Identification Card (BID) but the agency allegedly failed to carry out this duty for several years.
Maritime stakeholders have also expressed concerns that NIMASA does not have an up to date register of Nigerian dockworkers.
In a press statement issued to our correspondent in Lagos yesterday, President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju lamented that failure of NIMASA to issue the identification cards has further led to miscreants parading themselves as dockworkers and carrying out cargo pilfering inside the ports.
DAILY TREND NEWS recalls that in recent time, there has been a disturbing increase in reported cases of container broaching, allegedly done by dockworkers.
According to him, recently, the social media was awash with reports of stealing and broaching of cargoes in our Sea Ports by some miscreants.
“The National Secretariat of our union is now being inundated with the same report of alleged pilfering, stealing and broaching of cargoes in our Sea Ports by some scoundrels erroneously believed to be dockworkers.
“This erroneous mis-conception stemmed from the fact that Bio-metric Identity card (BID) which should have differentiated and distinguished the core dockworkers from the miscreants that daily troop into the ports have not been issued in spite of repeated demands by our Union.
“Pilfering, stealing and broaching of cargoes are criminal acts which no disciplined and responsible organisation should condole.
“Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, being a disciplined and responsible union has zero tolerance for any form of criminality as its Constitution loathes same,” he said.
He pointed that the dockworkers of today are a refined individuals who would not risk their robust terminal benefits by engaging in broaching of cargoes.
He stressed that they know the sanctions that await any authentic dockworker caught in any criminal act.
“We (the union) in all ramification are against this evil act and as such call on the security agencies operating in the ports especially the Nigerian Ports Police as well as the Terminal Operators security Personnel to put in place tight Security measures to tackle this menace.
“The menace is capable of damaging the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations.
“We also advice that whoever is caught in this criminal act should not be spared but be visited with the full weight of the law no matter how highly placed” Adeyanju said