The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has blamed the vandalization of containers in the port on the failure of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to issue biometric Identity Cards to Dockworkers and seaman branches of the union.
As a result, the union may petition the ministers of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and his counterpart in Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi over the matter.
The biometric Identity card was last issued in 2014 but is yet to be renewed five years after.
Lack of identity cards has been adduced to the reasons dockworkers could not identify those who are registered at the seaports, even as the apex maritime regulatory agency has been accused as the major reason behind the broaching of containers at the terminals.
Recall that the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju had ordered all district and unit heads to fish out unregistered dockers from port operations, saying that those behind the vandalization and pilfering of consignments can be linked to the set of people at the seaports.
A top official of the Union who does not want his name in print told our correspondent that MWUN had written on two occasions to NIMASA without a positive response.
According to him, the union has engaged the agency on many occasions on the need to renew the biometrical data but NIMASA consistently calls their bluff.
He lamented that the attitude of the current leadership of NIMASA is full of disdain and disrespect to maritime stakeholders which should be addressed by the federal government.
This is the letter but I will not allow you to sight it but I will read it loud and clear to you.
“The attitude of the current leadership of NIMASA sends negative signals to the international community but maybe if we should write directly to the federal government they will sit up and address issues bothering on port operations.”
He added that container broaching in the port has been several blamed on the dockworkers meanwhile there are scoundrels who enter the ports without proper documentation.
He, however, affirmed that a draft has been written and in no distance time, the attention of the federal government would be drawn to the current situation on how the management team of NIMASA led by Dr Peterside Dakuku has refused to issue fresh identity card to the labour workers at the ports.
He said: “As a result, the union has decided to write a save our soul letter to the minister to direct NIMASA to issue the cards.
The source added that the influx of people into the port arose from the failure of the agency to do the needful which would have helped to identify and profile the people coming in and going out of the Port on daily basis.