The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has restated its commitment to improved welfare of dock workers in the maritime industry as a desirable step towards growing the sector.

The pledge was made during a meeting of the employers and labour unions in the maritime sector under the aegis of the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) organized by it in Lagos.

The Chairman of the NJIC, who is also the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Mr Gambo Ahmed, explained at the meeting that the initiative was with a view to engaging the workers in discussions to enable dock workers’ enjoy better living conditions in line with International Labour laws.

Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Mr Gambo Ahmed
Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Mr Gambo Ahmed

Ahmed urged operators in the sector to show greater commitment to the dock workers’ welfare in order to improve the contributions of the maritime industry to national development.

“When the welfare of the dockworkers’ are put into proper perspective, we have a healthy maritime sector, thereby leading to the actualization of a robust economy”, Gambo said.

Commenting at the meeting, the Director, Maritime Labour Services, NIMASA, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril said that the new agreement demonstrated the agency’s commitment to workers’ better conditions of service which is in line with the ‘A future with Decent Work and also building a future for the Dock Labour Industry’ theme of the 107th International Conference held in Geneva recently.

Jibril disclosed that the agency had put in place all necessary measures towards ensuring a successful exercise in line with the provisions of the existing agreement and the demand for its review.

Stakeholders at the forum, including the the President of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies (NASC), Mr. Bolaji Sunmola and the President General of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, agreed to work harmoniously to sustain the peace in the industry.

The NJIC is the body responsible for negotiating and reviewing of minimum standards for dock workers. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which is reviewed bi-annually, lapsed on 31st May, 2018.

The regulation of dock labour minimum standards is the statutory responsibility of the agency as enshrined in the Act, Section 27 (1) sub-sect (b) of the NIMASA Act.