Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety (NIMASA) has launched its Maritime Labour E-Registration Platform for proper documentation of gainfully employed dockworkers in the port and it has been greeted with commendations by industry stakeholders.
The flag-off ceremony which took place at the APM Terminals Apapa, in Lagos yesterday, also witnessed the issuance of biometric identity cards to dockworkers.
At the event, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Hon. Victor Ochei, said the platform is an offshoot of the agency’s mandate to ensure digitalized registration and regulation of dockworkers.
Ochei charged concerned stakeholders to make sure that the platform is not exposed to cyber manipulation.
His words: “The E-platform was conceived out of the need to establish an independent, robust, integrated information, verification, and communication platform that will serve as system database generation on Maritime Labour. It will also serve as a source of statistical data and analytics for National Planning, Policy Making, Training Capacity Building, and Research.”
“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 will promote a seamless registration process that will culminate in the issuance of biometric identity cards to seafarers and dockworkers.”
“The Maritime Labour Employers on the other hand can conveniently complete their registration process from the comfort of their offices without necessarily visiting the Agency’s Office.”
“I, therefore, implore our esteemed stakeholders including seafarer employers, manning agents, terminal operators, dock labour employers, seafarers, and dockworkers to ensure that the platform is put into good use while avoiding practices that will expose it to the manipulations of online scammers.”
In her address, Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastup who was represented by the Senior Manager, Stevedoring Operation, ENL Consortium Limited, Olu Ajayi described the initiative as a remarkable feat from NIMASA while hoping that it will be sustained.
“I congratulate NIMASA for this remarkable feat of the E-registration platform and hope that the tempo will be sustained. I particularly urge Stakeholders to please cooperate with NIMASA to make this exercise a seamless one in a bid to have a well-coordinated port system.
“As critical stakeholders in the maritime sector, you can count on us for support at all times. I do hope that all Terminal Operators will take advantage of this all-important platform,” Haastrup said.
While speaking, the President General, MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju recounted how stevedores in the past, used dockworkers as slaves, noting that the era has gone following the introduction of the E-Platform.
He maintained that the platform will differentiate the good ones from the bad, stating that, “over the years, stevedores believe that the dockworkers have no father or mother. But through the intervention of the Nigerian Ports Authority, that notion was proven wrong, and that is why we are having the Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Olufunmilayo Olotu in our midst today.”
“We will never allow any stevedoring contractor to use dockworkers as slaves in their father’s land anymore. That era is gone and it’s gone forever. When in those days, they can just pick anybody anywhere in the port and call him a dockworker. It is no longer in history and it will never be in our history anymore. This is because our dockworkers have been transformed and trained to a standard where they can confidently compete with their colleagues in foreign countries.”
“With this E-Register Platform we are flagging off today, I think the sky is the limit for all the dockworkers in Nigeria. This system will identify the good from the bad. Who are the dockworkers? Dockworkers are those who have been gainfully employed by stevedoring contractors, manage, registered and midwife by NIMASA. We almost lost hope because we had been on this matter for five years before the emergence of the DG and ED. But today, we have come out to tell the whole world that we can do it better than before,” Adeyanju noted.
During her address, Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Olufunmilayo Olotu said, “This flag off will give us the room for tracking. It will facilitate facial and voice recognition and if there’s anything I always reference, knowing people who board our vessels has been my priority. When you know your face is going to be recognized, your voice is going to be recognized, and your movement onboard the vessel even when you’re sure is going to be tracked and recorded, it means you’re going to ensure you will not do anything that will put Nigeria into disrepute.”