By Samson Echenim
President of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, Bolaji Sunmola has called on the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to intervene in the negotiations with Jetties and offshore/onshore operators to allow the stevedoring contractors appointed by the Federal Government to operate in their premises.
Sunmola, who made the call during a visit to the NIMASA DG, Dakuku Peterside at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos, said the appointment of stevedoring companies to these facilities was a deliberate attempt by the Federal Government to check security breaches.
He therefore, appealed to the agency to activate the 2014 NIMASA Stevedoring Regulations which he stressed would go a long way in resolving the issues with the jetty operators.
In his response, Peterside noted that the agency understood the challenges faced by Stevedoring Companies and the terminal operators noting that NIMASA will consult further with all parties to ensure that there is an amicable resolution of the issues.
He highlighted the importance of Stevedoring companies to include facilitating economic growth, ensuring industrial harmony and also serving as a security shield in the ports.
He further assured the delegation of the NIMASA’s commitment to develop human capacity saying that the management of NIMASA has approved a comprehensive stevedoring guideline sensitization which would soon commence.
Peterside also restated that the agency is capable of carrying out its regulatory functions and will not abdicate its mandate to anybody.
The DG warned that NIMASA will not abdicate its regulatory responsibility as they concern the operations of stevedoring companies and how they relate with terminal and jetty operators saying that they do not have the powers to eject stevedoring companies approved by the government to operate in their facilities.
“It is NIMASA’s responsibility to oversight Stevedoring functions in our ports, terminals and jetties and we will not abdicate that function to anybody. In the exercise of this function, we will interphase with terminal operators and the National Association of Stevedoring Companies to make sure maritime operations are not hampered,” he said.