Lagos – The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, said the agency was committed to the welfare of all dockworkers in the nation’s ports.
The Head, Public Relations Department in NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, stated this in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Lagos.
The statement noted that the director-general expressed commitment to dockworkers’ welfare while addressing protesting dockworkers of the ENL Terminal at the NIMASA Headquarters in Lagos.
Peterside thanked the dockworkers for being orderly and peaceful in their demands.
He said that since the agency regulated maritime labour practices in the country, he would do everything legal within his powers to ensure that the workers’ grievances were adequately addressed.
“A labourer is worthy of his reward. In this regard, we shall ensure that no dockworker in all the seaports in Nigeria is short-changed,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the director-general as saying.
Dakuku urged the dockworkers to continue to be law-abiding, while the agency tries to resolve the dispute through a tripartite meeting with the leadership of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, ENL management and NIMASA.
A Spokesman of the dockworkers, Mr Lekan Afolabi, said that the workers had been working at the ENL Terminal for the past 10 years without appointment letters.
Afolabi said the workers were recently issued the letters of appointment after they made their grievances known to the management of ENL.
He appealed to the director-general to intervene on the issue of their terminal benefits to avoid chaos in the ports.
NAN reports that NIMASA is responsible for the welfare of dockworkers and seafarers in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Decent Work Agenda and the MLC 2006 Convention which Nigeria recently ratified. (NAN)