By DAPO OLAWUNI
There are indications that would be more employments in the Nigerian maritime sector following the recent deployment of stevedoring contractors to International Oil Companies (IOC’S) and private jetties by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)
Stevedoring Contractors are employees of dockworkers.
Over the years, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has been in a long drawn battle with multinational oil companies over their refusal to engage Nigerian workers on their platforms and jetties.
The union consistently raised alarm over the state of insecurity at private jetties, even as the union hinged the deteriorated security level on the refusal of operators to employ registered dockworkers and seafarers at such facilities.
The union had called on Ministry of Transportation, NPA, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to fully implement its Act, especially the area that affects the establishment of jetties with a view to ensuring that registered dockworkers are engaged there.
However, speaking with journalists on Monday in Lagos, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju confired that respite has finally emerged for Nigerian maritime workers as NPA has started deployment of stevedoring contractors and workers to more jetties, including that of the International Oil Companies (IOC)
Adeyanju confirmed that this would ensure that more workers are engaged and more revenue is collected by the Federal Government.
He urged NPA to come up with list of IOC’s that have complied with the stevedoring extant laws.
According to him, ExxonMobil, Texaco, and other multinationals have engaged the services of stevedoring contractors appointed by NPA and the employment level is now better than before.
“We have been talking about NPA not being visible in all jetties and the need for them to extend their scope of operations to these areas.
“Recently, about two weeks ago, the NPA has sent stevedoring contractors to all these jetties, we are about to see something better that would accommodate more of the workers.
“When you don’t have stevedoring contractors at these jetties, who would do the job? Where is the revenue?
“Now that NPA has woken up from its slumber by appointing stevedoring contractors through the office of Minister of Transportation, all our noise on the matter has started yielding results” he said