Magazine article African Business

Nigerian Dock Workers Get New Benefits: The Nigerian Government Has Successfully Persuaded Its Maritime Industry Agencies into Providing Benefits to Dock Workers

Magazine article African Business

Nigerian Dock Workers Get New Benefits: The Nigerian Government Has Successfully Persuaded Its Maritime Industry Agencies into Providing Benefits to Dock Workers

Article excerpt

Around 600 dock workers in Nigeria will enjoy disengagement benefits totalling N88m ($682,000) after an agreement was reached between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the National Maritime Authority (NMA), the Joint Dock Labour Industrial Council (JODLIC), and the National Association of Dock Labour Employers (NALDO).

The chairman of JODLIC, Alhaji Tijani Ramalan, has disclosed that the NPA and NMA each contributed N30m ($232,500) to the fund, while JODLIC gave N20m ($155,000) and NALDO contributed N8m ($62,000).

The proposal to institute a disengagement package was originally developed by the government after recognition that dock employers lacked the resources to support benefits packages on their own.

The fund will also enable JODLIC to award retirement benefits to aged dock workers. This represents a central plank in the package of measures in which the government, in co-operation with the dock labour industrial council, has collaborated to improve the general welfare of dock workers. According to Ramalan: "We came up with this measure after observing that the social insurance scheme for dock workers was a failure."

To its credit, the government has made several important strides into the area of labour reform and into the terms of conditions of dock workers, which began with the publication of the Nigerian Dock Labour Decree in 1999. Notwithstanding internal criticisms of the quality of the reforms and the subsequent possible threat to its status on the International Maritime Organisation's White List (see African Business, February 2003), progress is tangible. …

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