••Training of Nigerian Seafarers remains a priority – JAMOH.
••Development will aid dockworkers welfare- MWUN.
By Silas Onuoha
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) today launched the electronic registration platform for maritime labour and issuance of Biometric Identity Cards to Dockworkers. The Agency’s Director General Dr Bashir Jamoh described the e-platform as a major step towards attaining full automation of all its processes adding that it was conceived out of the need to establish an independent, robust, integrated information, verification and communication platform that would serve as a system database generation on maritime labour in Nigeria.
The DG who was represented by the Agency’s Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Engr. Victor Ochei, stated that the development of automation processes would benefit the industry both in terms of time-saving thereby improving on service delivery, as well as building capacity of the maritime labour workforce.
According to him, “I am particularly delighted about the prospect of eliminating the time consuming process of seafarers and employers registration which is what the E-Platform would provide. It is further expected that the E-Platform would promote a seamless registration process that will culminate with the issuance of biometric identity cards to seafarers and dockworkers”.
Dr Jamoh went on to state that the Agency remained committed to building up the capacity of Nigerian seafarers and dockworkers in order to improve on the standing of the country’s maritime sector among the committee of maritime nations.
“I wish to reiterate the Agency’s commitment towards actualising its mandate as provided in the enabling Act. Our resolve to make life meaningful to the entire maritime labour remains firm and we intend to achieve this through sustainable efforts in capacity building and improved welfare. The Agency is also prioritizing the training of Nigerian seafarers to meet industry needs with emphasis on specialized and advanced trainings”.
The President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, expressed his delight with the automation of maritime labour registration processes by NIMASA stating that the Agency had proven that it was indeed committed to improving standards in the Nigerian maritime sector especially in terms of labour practices and capacity development.
Also in attendance at the event were representatives of major maritime stakeholders including; Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Commissioner of Police (Apapa Port), among others.