Re: MWUN Ultimatum Over Alleged Non-Payment Of Outstanding Wages To Tally Clerks And On Board Security Men
The attention of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Management has been drawn to various media reports on the purported threat by the Labour under the auspices of the Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) over the alleged nonpayment of outstanding wages and salaries of dockworkers by their employees.
Management wishes to state as follows:
Tally clerks are NOT employees of the NPA .They are employees of the various stevedoring companies’.Their employees have direct obligations to pay them their wages and salaries and NOT the NPA.
Management wishes to recall that in 2006 dock labour was ceded to the then JOMALIC and along the line JOMALIC was merged with the then NMA to form the present day NIMASA
It is pertinent to note that one of the functions of the NIMASA as stated in the NIMASA Act is to accredit labour who can now be employed by the stevedoring companies who work for Terminal operators.
It could be recalled that at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed which culminated in the payment to the contractors. Since the implementation of the July (MOU) over 500 Million naira has been paid to the Stevedoring contractors who are the employers of the dockworkers.
There have been challenges in fulfilling our obligations to these labour contractors due to the issues of clarification and validation of their claims. Subsequent payments to the contractors which are being processed caught with the government policy of Treasury Single Account (TSA) dead line of September 15th 2015 which has delayed disbursement of the monies.
It should be pointed out that in the last nine years, the Authority had been groaning under the weight of the financial burden of payment of stevedoring companies who do not fall within our responsibilities in the present statutory dispensation.
However it should be emphasized here that our responsibility on payment to dockworkers and tally clerk ceased with the commencement of the present concession regime from 2006 when the NPA was relieved of the following functions –
Cargo handling operations
Dock labor management
Development and maintenance of terminal super structure
Acquisition and maintenance of operational equipment .
Maintenance of safety and security within the terminals amongst others
It is important to also state that according to the enforcement and ratification Act of 2004, the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is section 12 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).SOLAS was domesticated in Nigeria by the Enforcement and Ratification Act of 2004 . Since ISPS Code is part of SOLAS which is now part of our domestic laws, it spells the duties and responsibilities of all entities in the new maritime security regime.
Under company and ships it states that ‘’any company operating ships to which chapter x1-2 and part 2A of this code apply has to delegate a Company Security Officer (CSO) for the company and a Ship Security Officer (SSO) for each of its ships .The duties, responsibilities and training requirements of these officers and requirements for drills and exercises are defined in part A of this code’’.
‘’In view of this Act, the following responsibilities are clearly stated as follows; on a ship, the Ship Security Officer (SSO)is responsible for security. This responsibility gives SSO,s a key role in ensuring the continued effectiveness of the Maritime Security measures.
Responsibility of the master of their ship and reporting to the CSOs ashore, SSO:
Ensure that the ship and its shipboard personnel operate in accordance with the approved Ship Security plan( SSP)
Maintain security at all timesMay have the responsibility for shipboard personnel with the designated security responsibilitiesEnsure that contact is established and maintained with the Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO,s) at the port facilities that the ship uses andLiaise as necessary with the PSO,s/PFSOs or other officers and officials ashore with security responsibilities ‘’
The overriding desire for a peaceful industrial relations atmosphere that will ensure and secure government’s objectives for reform in the Maritime sector and improve efficiency of port services shall always remain the guiding principle and approach of the Authority’s Management, which is why management performs certain obligations which are statutorily the responsibilities of other agencies.