By Stpehen Ubanna
Adewale Adeyanju, President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, appears to be very happy with Bashir Jamoh, Director General, National Maritime Administration And Safety Agency, NIMASA. This is because the NIMASA Director General has a way of’’ making promises and fulfilling them’’.
Jamoh , the NIMASA, Director General, may have given his words to extend the agency Corporate Social Resposibility , CSR, to the Union. True to his words, Jamoh led NIMASA Management had purchased a 16 –Seater bus and one Hilux van which was handed over to the Union, at a recent ceremony in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, amidst cheers.
Appealing to the terminal operators , agencies of government and other maritime stakeholders to take a cue from what Jamoh led NIMASA Managemnt, has done in the discharge of the agency CSR projects, Adeyanju, the MWUN, President General noted that the NIMASA Director General has demonstrated to be a man of his words and who cares for the Union.
Jamoh led NIMASA Management, may have purchased the two multi-million naira vehicles which was handed- over to the MWUN, following the suspension of its planned shut- down of the Lagos ports of Apapa, Tincan Islantd and the south eastern ports of Onne, PortHarcourt, Warri and Calabar including the country’s oil terminals in 2022 over ‘’the refusal of the International Oil Companies, IOCs, to allow the stevedoring Companies have access to their platforms to commence operations’’.
The aggrieved MWUN, Leadership may not have found the action of the IOCs funny by denying the registered dockworkers and stevedoring Companies opportunity to operate in the IOC Platforms as required by the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Recall that the Union had in a letter dated February 14, 2022, , to Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and the then Minister of Transportation and Chris Ngige , a former governor of Anambra state and minister of Labour and Employment and copied to Jamoh , the NIMSA, Director General and Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, including Chris Ajaero, President, Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, threatening to shut down the nation’s seaports and oil terminals, from March 1, 2022.
The MWUN, Leadership, were said to have given a two weeks Ultimatum t to the Federal government to address their grievances, or the ports operations would be shutdown. Ngige,the minister of Labour and Employment, NIMASA and NPA, Chief Executive Officers, CEOs, were said to have met with the Leadership of the MWUN, at different times both in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and Lagos, to resolve the crisis. Jamoh, the NIMASA, , CEO, may have seen it as a challenge to stop the MWUN, leadership , from carrying out their threat of mobilizing the dockworkers to shut down the nation’s ports operations because of its implications to the economy by engaging them on a dialogue.
In handing over the 16-Seater bus and one Hilux van purchased for the use of the union, Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss, was said to have alluded to the suspension of the planned shut- down of the nation’s seaports and the dialogue that took place when he ‘’restated ‘’the agency’s Commitment to continuous stakeholders engagement” , urging the Union ”to embrace dialogue which is an effective tool to maintain the peace which the nation ‘s maritime sector have enjoyed over the last three years’’.
The NIMASA, helmsman, who may have taken advantage of the handover the two vehicles to the MWUN, Leadership, as part of its CSR, was said to have’’ applauded the Union for adopting dialogue in ensuring and maintaining peace in the nation’s maritime sector’’.
A n elated Jamoh had said that the dialogue between the relevant ministries, government agencies and the MWUN,Leadership has’’ aided the peace and industrial harmony being witnessed in the nation’s maritime sector, leading to the successes that were recorded, particular, the suspension of the strike which could have paralysed the nation’s seaports and oil terminals.
Industry stakeholders had said that the MWUN, Leadership, could suspend the planned shut –down of the nation’s seaports as at 2022, because Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss, has done quite a lot for the country’s dockworkers. The Launching of the electronic registration platform for maritime sector and issuance of Biometric Identity Cards for dockworkers, across the nation’s sea ports and oil terminals speaks volume.
Jamoh may have also taken advantage of the presentation of the two multi-million naira vehicles to the MWUN, Leadership this time around to give them cause to smile when he gave his words that the agency would complete ‘’the renovation of the headquarters of the Union in order to give them a befitting habitation’’.
Indeed, Jamoh, the NIMASA, Director General, may have won the heart of the Leadership of the MWUN, as at then when he described ‘’the e- platform as a major step towards attaining full automation of all its processes , noting that was conceived out of ‘’the need to establish an independent , robust, integrated information , verification and communication platform that would serve a system data base generation on maritime Labour in Nigerian ports and the oil terminals.
Besides, Launching of the e- platform for Nigerian Dockworkers, Jamoh- was said to have equally midwifed the signing of the collective bargaining aggreement on the reviewed minimum standard of wage for the nation’s dock Labour industry, between the terminal operators and thedockworkers.
It was therefore, not very surprising why the industry has witnessed relative over the last couple of years. Jamoh, who could not hide his feelings had said that the industry had witnessed the’’relative peace and harmony through the instrumentality of the Leadership of the MWUN’’. This may have informed why he had said that the agency is ‘’committed to ensuring that the union is equipped with adequate facilities needed to perform their duties as expected’’.
Given the relative peace at the nation’s seaports in the past few years may have encouraged Jamoh, the NIMASA, CEO, to have urged the union, ‘to continue to support the policies and instruments of the International Labour Organisation, ILP, , ILO, towards ensuring a better welfare and decent work for the seafarers.
He may have gladdened the heart of Adeyanju, led MWUN, when he said that the agency Management acknowledge what the union leadership have done over the years in ‘’ championing the cause for dockworkers , seafarers and other Labour component s in the nation’s maritime sector’’.
As a prelude to ensuring industrial harmony in the nation’s maritime sector, Jamoh has urged the MWUN, Leadership ‘’to continue their stakeholders engagement in achieving implementation of theILO, Laws, to achieve better welfare in consonance with international best practices of workers in the country maritime sector”.
Adeyanju, the MWUN, President General, may have given the NIMASA boss his words, during the presentation of the two multi-million vehicles to the Union, when he disclosed that they will continue ‘’to work closely with the various relevant government agencies and other industry stakeholders to ensure continuous progress of the industry’’, stressing that ‘’the era of confrontation in ‘’the industry is gone for good as they have embraced dialogue which has ensured sustained peace and harmony’’.
He was said to have alluded to the fact that the NIMASA Director General had excelled in the area of enhancing staff welfare, by guaranteeing regular promotion and attending to the needs of industry stakeholders compared to previous Director Generals of the agency.
The good impressive performance of Jamoh, in turning the nation’s maritime sector around over the the last years may have informed why the MUN, President General, has asked Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and Nigerian President-elect ‘’to consider reappointing the NIMASA Director General for second term in office when he settles down for governing to consolidate on what he has already achieved which has been recognised by the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, a United Nations, UN, maritime agency and the International shipping Companies’’, particular in the areas of the anti-piracy war in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea as well as the development of the nation’s Blue Economy.