The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has harped on the importance of human factors to successful and safe shipping operations globally.

Dakuku made this disclosure on Monday while addressing participants at the Business AFRICA meeting at the ongoing 107th session of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland where the review of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 would be considered.

The NIMASA boss noted that the industry must partner with workers to develop a strategy required for the sustainable development of human capital in the sector, adding that investment in workforce is a sure way to guarantee success of firms and boost profitability.

He said: “Employees are the most critical factor that determines the success of a firm, this is even truer in the Maritime industry that is capital intensive and where safety is paramount so constant training and development, as well as the welfare of workforce, must be taken seriously“.

Dakuku charged African businessmen in the maritime industry to prioritise workers’ welfare in order to properly position their entities for global competitiveness in the industry, adding that the maritime industry in particular could play greater role in developing countries if the right investment is made in the sector.

The industry regulator commended the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the review of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 and also canvassed the need for the global body to consider the peculiarities of the different geo-political areas of the world in the amendments.

He described the planned amendment to the MLC 2006 as desirable after 10 years of its implementation in view of the current challenges and emerging trends in the industry.

NIMASA’s Head, Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi, stated that MLC remained an International Labour Organisation Convention established in 2006 as the fourth pillar of international maritime law.

It embodies all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other international labour Conventions.

The Convention entered into force on 20th August 2013, one year after registering 30 ratifications of countries representing over 33 per cent of the world’s gross tonnage of ships.

As at August last year, the Convention has been ratified by 84 states representing over 89 per cent of global shipping.