NIMASA Gives The Nod To Stevedoring Companies To Commence Operation

By Stephen Ubanna

Between March 2020, and now, the nation’s maritime sector , have never  witnessed the kind of  economic  activities currently being  witnessed, no thanks to Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

Jamoh has demonstrated in the last three months  that he is a Career officer  who understands the needs of the industry with the polices that had been churned out the aggressive pursuit of the anti-piracy  war which is yielding results in all fronts.

Talk to the indigenous ship owners, who have gotten the Presidential approval to access the $194 million Cabotage Finance Fund, CVFF but waiting for the ministerial whistle to start, the Seafarers to the other key players in the country’s maritime sector, they are happy that the nation’s maritime sector have bounced back to life to the extent that the government now reckons with it.

Many believe that Jamoh could address the issue of the Stevedoring Companies because NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Nigerian Inland Water ways Authority, NIMWA and Maritime Academy , oron, Akwa Ibom sate, agencies in the nation’s Maritime sector under the ministry of Transportation , have agreed to stick to their respective responsibilities as contained in the Law setting the up as a way to reduce cases of overlap in their functions.

 It was not surprising why the agency has  directed  all dully registered  Stevedoring Companies with Operational areas allotted to them by  the Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, led NPA, , which are yet to statart operation  due to one reason or the other to mobilise to their locations. That much was confirmed by  Philip Kyanet, an Assistant Director and the agency Head of Corporate Communications.

The directive, according to Kyanet, is contained in a recent  Marine notice issued  by the Maritime Regulatory agency, urging the affected Companies to ‘’to report any encumberances that may delay their operations to the agency’’.  He pointed out that the directive was ‘’in line with the Stevedoring Regulation 2014 gazetted by the government  and developed in pursuant  to the NIMASA Act,2007’’.

The  Jamoh led NIMASA Management was said to have also  notified  all Operators of ports, Jetties, Onshore, Offshore oil and gas, Bonded Terminals, Inland Container Depots, ICDs, Offshore Dock Terminals, Dry ports, Platforms and work locations to grant  duly appointed Stevedoring Companies access to their premises for Commencement of Operations.

The NIMASA, Authorities may  have shown that they truly understand the  needs of the nation’s maritime sector when ‘’it  said that only Corporate Organisations duly registered in Nigeria that  should be allowed ‘’ to employ dock labour or engage in Stevedoring  work on board or from ships’’.Such Corporate bodies, NIMASA officials said ‘’must have satisfied  the requirements for registration specified  in the Sevedoring Regulation , 2014, Act  and obtained a Stevedoring license from NIMASA.

As a prelude to ensuring a smooth take off of the Stevedoring Companies and other dock labour employers  in their various areas of operations, they  were said to have  been given the mandate ‘’to provide Insurance Cover for health, personal injury, loss of earnings and Compensation , relating to any incident  affecting dock workers or stevedores in the course  of the work of the dock labour employer or the Stevedoring Company.

Moreso, the agency has made it clear to the Stevedoring Companies and other dock labour employers that  ’’they must provide  proper and safe  working conditions for the Convenience  and proper working  of its employees  and ensure that all Stevedoring plants and equipment supplied and being used in their operations are safe and in  good condition’’.

Stevedoring Companies and other  dock labour employees that may want to flout the new NIMASA, set guidelines may have to watch it as the agency not spare them . Already Jamoh, the NIMASA , Director General, has made it clear to those that cares to listen that ‘’non –compliance with  the new  set guidelines  set out  in the Stevedoring  Regulation, 2014, will face the Consequence.

He was said to have warned of ’ the dire consequences of  non –compliance to the set out guidelines as the agency is out to enforce the Stevedoring 2014 Act, in addition to churning  out  other severe  punishment for victims, such as detention of vessels, sealing of operational areas  or work locations and prosecution of  offenders. He is right.

 The current prosecution of 10 Pirates  arrested on Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea under the country’s  anti-piracy  Law which was  signed by President Muhammdu Buhari last June speaks volume. With the Prosecution of the Pirates under the anti-piracy L law,  Jamoh, the NIMASA , boss has sent a signal to the Stevedoring Companies and other dock labour employers that it is no longer going to be business as usual with the enforcement of the new set guidelines which give no room for Compromise.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.