In the bid to develop barging as a big viable alternative for cargo transportation, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Barge Operators Association Of Nigeria (BOAN) have come together to formed a formidable alliance.
The alliance which is culminating in the constitution of a ten man steering committee is vested with the duty to develop a Standard Operating Procedure. (SOP) for barge operation in Nigeria.
The steering Committee had noted , during a press briefing held in Lagos at the MWUN secretariat, that in view of barging activities as a mode of economical cargo transportation,SOP must be adhered to by operators.
Speaking at the press briefing, the Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee, MWUN/BOAN Alliance, Comrade Harry Tonye Leonard disclosed that the SOP is expected to commence on Monday 15th November 2021 along side the inauguration of the Steering Committee Management Unit with terms of reference for implementation of SOP on barging activities in the country.
He stated that the SOP is aimed to cover issues of safety, maintenance, training, documentation and certification, chandling ,medical, communications, levies and dues, welfare, guide to conduct, fueling, berthing speed , insurance and barging management system app (BMS).
I’m his words, ” The barge steering Committee having completed this aspect of its job is privileged to present to you and the public the completed booklet containing the SOP for barge operation in Nigeria.
“The SOP will serve as guide to any and every person or organisations involved in barging operation within Nigeria territorial waters” Tonye said.
Responding to questions from the media, Head of Enforcement , BOAN and member of the committee, Alhaji Nura Wagani pointed out that barges belonging to members of the association are of high standard.
He explained that volume of cargoes moved within the last ten months was quite high.
Wagani noted that barging activities has aided decongestion of the ports adding that barges belonging to members are licensed by maritime regulatory agencies of the federal government.
Also soeaking, Hajia Bola Muse who is also a member of BOAN, assured stakeholders that the enforcement team of the alliance will ensure strict compliance to the flag off of the SOP.
She hinted that the alliance will streamline their operations to achieving success with the SOP .
Speaking on standardization, Haruna Omolajomo a member of the committee, averred that barge owners under BOAN has not recorded any form of accident since 2018, he added that the recent incident on the Lagos channels has no connection with BOAN members.
Meanwhile, members of the committee are Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed (Chairman), Comrade Tonye Harry (Vice Chairman), Hajia Bola Muse (Treasurer), Ndukwe Hyginus (finance) and Mr Ernest who is in charge of media.
Others are Comrade Erazua Oniha. (Secretary), Alhaji Nura Wagani (Enforcement), Comrade Ohize Tajudeen Ibrahim (Member), Bello Abubakar and Comrade Abudul Eroje.