Maritime: Former NIMASA Chairman, Dr. Ramalan commends efforts in transforming Nigeria’s dock labor industry

Former Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Alhaji (Dr.) Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan, has commended efforts in transforming Nigeria’s dock labor industry.

In a historic event organised by the agency yesterday, during the maiden celebration of “The Day of the Dock Worker“, the pioneer Chairman of the Agency highlighted significant achievements in the regulation and empowerment of the nation’s dock labor force since inception.

Ramalan was the Executive Chairman of the Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC) before its merger with the then National Maritime Authority (NMA) to form NIMASA. He was appointed the pioneer Chairman of NIMASA on 1st August 2006, a position he held till May 2, 2007, when the board was dissolved by then President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Delivering his Keynote speech, Dr. Ramalan emphasised key achievements during his tenure, including the de-casualisation of dock workers, implementation of contributory pension schemes, and regulations on maritime labor engagement, amongst others. 

According to the former NIMASA helmsman, these initiatives have led to enhanced career development, increased productivity, and a current state of industrial peace and harmony

Ramalan traced the roots of dock work and stevedoring in Nigeria back to the colonial period, emphasising its integral role in the development of shipping and port activities. He provided insights into the evolution of the industry from the construction of modern ports in the early 20th century to the establishment of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in 1954.

The formerNIMASA Chair highlighted challenges faced by dock workers, including labor disputes, union feuds, and the emergence of armed factions. He acknowledged the intervention of the Federal Government, leading to the establishment of the Joint Dock Labour Industrial Council in 1999, chaired by Ramalan. His leadership brought about the dissolution of disruptive elements within the industry, ensuring industrial peace and harmony.

The academic, businessman-cum-politician congratulated the current NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and the Executive Director (Maritime Labour) for their commendable efforts. He expressed gratitude for their commitment to regulating working conditions, welfare, and career progression in accordance with international labor conventions and the NIMASA Act.

The former NIMASA chair has for years been an advocate for the re-establishment of a national carrier, which he says is imperative for the realisation of the objective of Local Content Act and reinvigoration of the nation’s maritime sector.

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