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Maritime labour undermined, says House Committee




The House Committee on Maritime Safety has said that the maritime labour was being undermined.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Mohammed Bago, made the remark in Lagos during a familiarisation tour of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies (NASC) in Lagos.

Bago said that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and concessionaires were working toward harnessing the operations of stevedoring companies.

“Agreement between government and the concessionaires has a big default in the challenges facing the stevedoring companies in Nigeria,’’ the news agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes him as saying.

“I held a meeting with the Director- General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, on the issue of tally clerk.

“He also agreed with me that it is very necessary; for two reasons for security and accountability and secondly for employment.

“So we will look into that and come up with a way of addressing this issue of tally clerks and onboard security men in Nigerian ports,“ he said.

Bago said that he agreed with the allegation made against NIMASA by the leader of maritime Labour that the agency was not allowing tally clerks and onboard security men to operate at the ports.

He said that due to lack of understanding and lack of commitment, the department of Labour in NIMASA had not been given priority.

The chairman said that shipping development had been given much attention by NIMASA, while the stevedoring companies were not given enough attention by the agency.

Bago, however, commended the efforts of the NASC for creating time in spite the short notice to accommodate them and to listen to their views, adding that the operators should improve on their synergy and pass their views to the committee.

He said that the committee would work toward a retreat by bringing all the maritime stakeholders together with the hope of moving the country forward.

Also speaking, the Director, Maritime Labour and Service of NIMASA, Mrs Juliana Gunwa, said that the agency was presently holding stakeholders meeting to look into the operation of onboard security men and tally clerks.

Gunwa said that the agency had been having peaceful relationship with the operators in the maritime labour industry in the last few years.

“The issues raised by stevedoring association are all being looked into because the Federal Ministry of Transportation had approved a Ministerial regulation which is supposed to take care of some of these issues.

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