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Dock chairman calls for review of stevedoring law


stevedoring law

The Chairman, Dock Management Nigeria Ltd., Hon. Moshood Salvador, has called for a review of stevedoring law in the country to curtail dominance of the profession by foreigners.

Salvador made the call in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to him, the review will enable Nigerians to regain dominance of the business of stevedoring.

The dock labour employer recalled that he drew the attention of other stevedoring operators to the problem of dominance of the business by foreigners at a conference held sometime in Lagos.

According to him, the law says stevedoring service is predominantly reserved for Nigerians and just a word spoilt it when it changed to stevedoring service  reserved for Nigerian companies and that was how the foreigners came in.

“If a foreigner wants to register a Nigerian company, all he does is to go to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and register the company.

“I have to advise, recommend, appeal for a review of the stevedoring law. It should be reserved for Nigerians and not Nigerian companies,’’ Salvador, a Lagos All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain said.

He said that so many foreigners operating as employers of Nigerian dock workers had cheap labour and made money.

He added that as a result of the entry of foreigners into the stevedoring business, government had increased registration renewal fee.

According to him, as a result of the dominance of foreigners, conditions like the number of trucks, ambulances required had been made unaffordable to Nigerian stevedoring operators.

He added that because of the conditions attached to registration of stevedoring companies, some Nigerians who were supposed to own stevedoring companies were now employed by foreigners in the business.

Salvador also proposed a return to the old payment system of releasing money to stevedoring companies directly by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to pay dockworkers’ salaries.

He decried the present system whereby the jetty owners were assigned to give money to the stevedoring companies to pay dockworkers’ salaries.

According to him, a return to the old payment system by NPA will be preferable.

Salvador said that the present payment system had left dockworkers at the mercy of jetty owners.

“It is better for Nigerian Ports Authority to go back to the era of releasing money according to the tonnage recorded by the stevedoring companies,’’ the stevedoring operator said.

Salvador also said that there was need to review the union’s laws to accommodate less than 50 dockworkers to join the union for their voice to be heard.

He added that in terms of welfare, in his own company, he introduced money contributions (Ajo) among the dockworkers, saying that many of them had been able to earn additional income by buying tricycles.

Salvador noted that he also assisted the dockworkers in his company in building houses with their contributions.

He described the dockworkers as honest.