Government sets up board on implementation of diving at work regulations
The Federal Government has set up the Diving Governing Board to implement the provisions of the 2018 Diving at Work Regulations. This development comes nearly two years after the Federal Executive Council approved the Diving at Work Regulation.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN who inaugurated the Board on Friday at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja said the Board would drive the enforcement of the regulations that will restore sanity in the sector and drive a sustainable growth agenda.
He announced the appointment of Julius Ugwala as Chief Inspector of Diving for the country. He said the inauguration marked the beginning of an era in which the flagrant disregard for the safety and health status of divers would no more be condoned.
He said the board, amongst its other functions would furnish the sector with a code of practice that meets global best practice.
Lamenting the poor supervision of dive operations and insufficient penalties for defaulting organisations, the Minister said the industry had been stunted by poor standards and the resultant hazards that accompanied such an anomaly.
He however expressed confidence in the ability of the board to improve the sector through the strict enforcement of the regulations and monitoring of the industry’s operations
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Yerima Tarfa, said the enforcement role of the governing board is paramount and called for strict compliance with the safety and health guidelines for increase in productivity and for national development.
The Chief Inspector of Diving, Julius Ugwala, congratulated the diving industry on the landmark development and thanked the Federal Government for its commitment to making the industry “efficient and globally competitive.”
He said a sustained collaboration between government and critical stakeholders gave birth to the regulations, which would now open up new opportunities for industry growth and the employment of Nigerian youths.
President of the National Association of Divers (NAPROD), Timothy Dagogo Minima, who is also a member of the board said the industry finally has a chance at growing, adding that NAPROD has been foremost in the campaign for the enforcement of the regulations.
He said indigenous divers had lost their lives and become maimed as a result of poor enforcement of safety standards; as a result, every measure put in place for their safety and advancement is a step in the right direction.