DOCKWORKERS DAY: NIMASA has Successfully Implemented its Mandate on Protection of Rights, Welfare of Dockworkers—Ramalan

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Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, DrBashir Jamoh OFR presenting a souvenir to Former Board Chairman, NIMASA, Dr. Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan (left) during the 2023 Day of the Dockworker Celebration in Lagos.

By DAPO OLAWUNI

As the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) celebrated the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos on Thursday, Pioneer Board Chairman of NIMASA, Dr Tijjani Ramalan has commended the agency under its Director General, Dr Bashir Jamoh, saying that NIMASA has successfully implemented its Mandate as per the NIMSA Act in the protection of the rights and welfare of dockworkers as guaranteed in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Decent Work Agenda.

Dr Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA Director General

Ramalan stated while speaking at the dockworkers day celebration with the theme; “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity”

Ramalan traced the development of the Nigerian dockworkers before his own appointment as Executive Chairman of Joint Dock Labour Industrial Council (JODLIC) in 1999, and later Executive Chairman of Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC) to regulate the Activities Of Dock workers and Seaferers.

The agency was later transmuted into the present day NIMASA.

According to him, the Nigerian docklabour today has been greatly transformed and sanitized, compared to the previous years.

“The Dynamic Agency’s Director General, Dr Bashir Jamoh and his able Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, and Chairman of NJIC Mr. Victor Ochei, needs to be appreciated for the revised minimum wage and improved living standard for dockworkers through the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) initiative endorsed by NIMASA and NJIC.

“Nigerian Dockworkers are integral to efficient and effective stevedoring operations and the NJIC must remain resolute in ensuring harmonious working relationships through the principle of tripartism and the execution of Collective Bargaining Agreements on minimum standards for the dock labour industry.” he said

R-L: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, DrBashir Jamoh OFR; Port Manager, Apapa Port, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Charles Okaga; President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju; and Executive Director, Maritime Labour and CabotageServices NIMASA, Engr. Victor Ochei during the 2023 Day of the Dockworker Celebration in Lagos.

The ex-NIMASA board chairman also commended the focused and responsible leadership of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) under its President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju for working in harmony with port operators and with the new “Renewed Hope” Ministry of Blue Economy.

“I appreciate our President-General of the MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, and repositioning of the MWUN and for midwifing the CBA, as it has ensured industrial harmony and peace in the maritime industry and i hope the NJIC would soon agree on new wages for dockworkers”

Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasizing the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.

According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month”.

Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas”.

On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address thanked the NIMASA Management for organizing the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.

In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).

Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.

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