By Godfrey Bivbere
THE Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has accused the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, of failing in its duty of ensuring the use of registered dockworkers at some terminals at the ports and most private jetties.
This is even as the Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, restated the agency’s capacity to carrying out its regulatory functions but stressed that it will not abdicate its mandate to anybody.
Peterside made this known while receiving members of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies led by the President, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
President General of MWUN, Tony Emmanuel Nted, who made the allegation in Lagos, said the use of unregistered dockworkers is becoming alarming as NIMASA seems to have abandoned its regulatory function.
Nted said staff of the agency stationed at such facilities with the responsibility of ensuring compliance have compromised and therefore allows the owners to carry out their function unchecked.He explained that previous managements have ignored complains of the union but noted that the present management has promised to ensure enforcement of its responsibility in accordance to its establishing law.
The DG warned that NIMASA will not abdicate its regulatory responsibility as they concern the operations of stevedoring companies and how they relate with terminal and jetty operators, saying that they do not have the powers to eject stevedoring companies approved by the government to operate in their facilities.
He emphasised that “it is NIMASA’s responsibility to oversee Stevedoring functions in the ports, terminals and jetties and we will not abdicate that function to anybody.
In the exercise of this responsibility, we will interphase with terminal operators and the National Association of Stevedoring Companies to make sure maritime operations are not hampered.”
Earlier in his address, the President of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola had called on NIMASA to come to their rescue in respect of their negotiations with terminal operators as it has become a norm for Jetties and offshore/onshore operators to refuse Government’s appointed stevedoring contractors to operate in their premises.