By Eguono Odjegba
AFTER many years of failed promises to provide Nigerian dockworkers with biometric identification card for easy and secured movement and data verification, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, may have commenced implementation of the program.
President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, who disclosed this to Vanguard Maritime Report, weekend said the issuance of the digital ID cards is expected to happen before end of this year. Asked how optimistic he is considering repeated failed attempts in the past, Adeyanju said his position is based on his discussions with the new Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who he said does not promise what he cannot do.
His words: “I met Jamoh during the Seafarers Day and we discussed so many things. So, I can smell the biometric ID card; I am sure that dockworkers will get it before the end of this year.”
In a related development, the union leader applauded NIMASA for the recent marine notice it issued ordering stevedoring contractors to go back to jetties in the various terminals, noting that NIMASA has started paying attention to the implementation of its critical assignment.
He said, “Issuance of the marine notice is to tell you that the new helmsman is an insider and understands how the system works. He knows the problems of seafarers and dockworkers, which are the two major maritime organs for which NIMASA was established to regulate.
“Take a look at the three marine notices he has issued since he assumed office; they concern seafarers and dockworkers. Look at the floating dockyard, NIMASA and NPA have planned that no Federal Government revenue generating asset should waste. These are committed and digital leaders.
“It is not about blowing grammar all over the place; it is about serious economic initiative, it is about getting the system to work. When NPA gives appointment to stevedoring contractors, who enforce the law?
“It is NIMASA that enforce and regulate. I have asked my secretariat to send the DG NIMASA letters of commendation for issuing warning to terminal operators that doesn’t want dockworkers to enter their jetties.”