The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, on Thursday, restated that the Agency is capable of carrying out its regulatory functions and will not abdicate its mandate to anybody.
Peterside made this known while receiving the members of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies led by the President, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
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.
He emphasised that “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.”
Dr. Peterside also noted that the Agency understands 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.
The DG 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 assured the delegation of the Agency’s commitment to develop human capacity saying that “the Management of NIMASA has approved a comprehensive stevedoring guideline sensitization which would soon commence”.
Earlier in his address, the President of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola had called on NIMASA to come to their rescue in respect of their negotiations with terminal operators as it has become a norm for Jetties and offshore/onshore operators to refuse the Federal Government appointed stevedoring contractors to operate in their premises.
Sunmola who pointed out that the appointment of stevedoring companies to these facilities was a deliberate attempt by the Federal Government to avoid security breaches also appealed to the Agency to activate the 2014 NIMASA Stevedoring Regulations which he thinks will go a long way in resolving the issues with the terminal operators.