Jamoh Advocates Contributory Pension Fund For Dockworkers
…says Dockworkers are critical to the economy of the nation
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has always been at the forefront of looking out for the economic well-being of the Nigerian Dockworkers. Yet again the quest for the economic upliftment of the Dockworkers is being practically shown with the hosting of the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos on Friday,7 November,2023.
Which has as its theme: “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity”, throwing up a Vista of opportunity for stakeholders to appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers who play critical role in the economic growth of the nation and seek for other ways of economic stability and ensuring they stay healthy.
Delivering the keynote address at this year’s event, NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh,stated that the dockworker deserved respect and dignity , because according to him,they play very key roles in the economic development and well- being of the nation.
” They should be treated with respect and dignity.They should be proud of themselves.They should be treated with excellence”. Jamoh said.
He went on to say that as part of reforms on the operations of the dockworkers, biometric identity Card has been introduced. Adding that the condition of service of the dockworkers has been improved as they are now pensionable. Jamoh therefore charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasizing the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.
His words, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both employers and employees contributions at the end of each month”.
He noted that the dockworkers, in the cause of their service to better the lives of all, are precariously exposed to various levels of danger, and as such deserves better working conditions.
Continuing, Dr Jamoh said , “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas”.
Speaking earlier on in his welcome address, President General Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade (Prince) Adewale Adeyanju, thanked the NIMASA Management for organizing the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role they play in the economy .
He described the NIMASA DG as a” very compassionate man”. He noted that the dockworkers were perceived by society before now as professional “Alaru”,and as such were neglected for a long time , but all that he said, has changed for good now, even as the today’s epoch making event is a clear demonstration of the importance and relevance of the dockworker”.
Adeyanju noted that all dockworkers have been registered and certified as bonafide dockworker.
Adeyanju,who could not conceal his delight, advised that the burden of the celebration of the dockworker day should not be left alone for NIMASA to carry , stressing that subsequent editions, other agencies and terminal operators should join forces with NIMASA to up the event to a new notch.
Also speaking at the event ,Alhaji Tijani Ramalan,who represented the pioneer chairman of NIMASA,Dr.Ahmed Tijani Ramalan ,who was unavoidably absent ,congratulated Dr.Bashir Jamoh ,and Engineer Victor Ochei , Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services for organizing the maiden edition of dockworker day 2023.
Alhaji Tijani Ramalan praised the President General of MWUN,Dr.Prince Adeyanju,for the great work he has put in the transformation of the dockworker.
His words,” Today,we have a rejuvenated dockworkers Union,all owing to the industry of prince Adewale Adeyanju, President General, MWUN.”
Other speakers who gave their goodwill messages include representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASO).
Other side attractions at the august event included ,a match pass by all the different groups of the dockworkers Some of the groups include , NIMASA,ABTL ENL Consortium,Greenview Nigerian Limited,PTML,Five Star Logistics amongst others.
Also Alhaji Tijani Ramalam was equally honoured by MIMASA for his contribution to growth of the dockworkers.
Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.