The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have begun discussions on how to resolve the lingering issue of terminal benefits of seafarers whose appointments were terminated due to the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) by the Federal Government decades ago.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh and the Vice President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) who is also the President General of the MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, jointly announced an agreement for physical verification of the affected seafarers/next of kin as the case may apply; the nature of appointment of all affected seafarers, and the exact amount due each beneficiary.
These were disclosed in press statement issued by NIMASA Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Edward Osagie and made available to Maritime Bits.
Osagie quoted Jamoh assuring MWUN that its position will be communicated to the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, to ensure government takes all necessary actions to bring to a conclusion the issue of NNSL.
His words: “The issue of industrial harmony in the maritime sector is of uttermost interest to our administration at NIMASA. We have been at this for a while. NIMASA had offered N100 million as settlement, which the union declined. We have also discovered that some of those demanding settlement did not even have any employment letter. We will follow the lead from our supervising ministry and ensure the physical verification exercise is brought to a logical conclusion. Our Honorable Minister will be duly updated by the agency. I look forward to closing this issue in months to come.”
Adeyanju on his part restated the commitment of union to peaceful resolution of disputes to ensure the rights and privileges of workers are well protected, without disrupting productivity in the maritime sector.
The unionist commended the Jamoh led management at NIMASA, just as he urged others to follow suit.
“I will like to commend NIMASA under Dr. Jamoh, for the unflinching commitment to industrial harmony. He is always a phone call away to resolve any issue. Yes, NIMASA offered 100 million naira to offset the terminal benefits. However, if others like Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council and the rest also add funds, there will be enough to go round the expected beneficiaries. As we did for dockworkers when a flat rate of N200, 000 was paid during port concession. That is what we want, putting into consideration the realities on ground now”, he add.