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Biometric identity cards: MWUN threatens industrial action against NIMASA.

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…says it’s over a decade the last one expired

Segun Oladipupo

The Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has threatened industrial action against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for failure to issue biometric identity cards to docks workers in the past ten years.

The President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju stated this on Monday during the Quadrennial Conference of the union in Lagos.

The conference saw the emergence of Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli and Comrade Ibrahim Ohize as branch presidents of NPA and Dockworkers respectively.

Both president’s were returned for second term unopposed, a situation which the union said was first of its kind since the creation of the union.

The PG said that NIMASA had defied all entreaties to get the identity cards to the Dockworkers.

He added that as a result of the non issuance of the card, members of the union were constantly embarrassed when trying to gain entrance into the port for inability to identify themselves.

“Comrades,it is strange that a decade is gone and still counting, Dockworkers are yet to be reissued with biometric identity card as promised.

” As a union, we have gone through all the normal routes to get action on this matter but there seems to be a deliberate scheme put in place to deny our members this important document which is meant to serve as their legitimate means of identification as they are often embarrassed and mistaken for hoodlums because of lack of identity.

“Consequently, I wish to reiterate our demand that NIMASA should as a matter of urgency,expedite action on resistance of biometric identity cards to Dockworkers to save them from incessant embarrassment of mistaken n identity.

“We want to serve this notice to the general public that should NIMASA continue to renege on its over a decade promise to issue biometric identity cards to Dockworkers, we will have no option than to resort to any appropriate means to get redress,” he maintained.

Earlier in his speech, the PG lamented the growing insecurity in the port which he said was occasioned in some instances by nonchalant attitude of the government who watch developments in the port with indifference.

He accused multinational companies operating in the port of outsourcing security functions to their organisations to foreign nationals,saying such is detrimental to the country.

Speaking further, Adeyanju  decried the current seafarers certificate in Nigeria, saying it is far below international standards which according to him, puts the indigenous seafarers trained in the local maritime institutes at a disadvantage to compete internationally for employment.

“In view of the above, we call on the Federal government to, through the relevant ministries and agencies, cause an upgrade in the facilities of all maritime training institutes in the nation, especially Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.

“We believe doing this will shore up international accreditation of such institutes and bring them up to par with international standards.”

All efforts to get the side of NIMASA proved abortive as all calls and text  messages sent to the Head, Corporate Communications, Philips Kyanet, were neither acknowledged nor responded to.

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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