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Press Releases

Thursday, 26 September 2013 08:07

Joint Ministerial Visit to the Commercial and Fishing Ports

Ministers call for concerted efforts by all partners and stakeholders to address issues at Seychelles’ ports.

Thursday 26th October 2013, the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, the Minister for Natural Resources and Industry, Mr. Peter Sinon and the Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development, Ms Idith Alexander today conducted a joint Ministerial visit at the Commercial and Fishing Ports.

 

 

The visit was a joint initiative so the Ministers could better understand the functions of the ports and also to address certain concerns which had been brought to Minister Sinon and Minister Alexander’s attention.

 

 

The Ministers and their delegation were greeted by the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Captain Andre Ciseau and the Chairman of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Mr. Conrad Benoiton.

 

 

After a short presentation, in which Captain Ciseau gave an overview of the roles, objectives and future plans of the Seychelles Ports Authority, the ministerial delegations and representatives from the various shipping and handling agencies operating in Port Victoria were taken on a guided tour of the various operations undertaken at the Commercial Port. This included among others, the loading of tuna fish into storage containers and warehouse facilities.

The second part of the visit was conducted at the Fishing Port where the delegations had the chance to board a tuna fishing vessel and witness firsthand an unloading of the fish into containers for exportation.

The Ministers availed of the opportunity to speak to the employees working at the ports to see whether they are satisfied with their working conditions. Some workers expressed concerns in regards to their salaries.

The visit concluded in a debriefing session at the Seychelles Fishing Authority’s conference centre after a brief stopover with the Indian Ocean Tuna Limited Company’s management team.

 

 

During the debriefing, Minister Joel Morgan informed that with the increased level of development and competition which exists between ports in the Indian Ocean region, the Seychelles Ports Authority has put forward proposals to expand the size of the different Ports.

‘’I give you my assurance that the government is in the process of looking for financing for the developments of the ports’’ said Minister Morgan. He stressed that this will require studies to assess the feasibility of the expansion proposals.

For his part, Minister Peter Sinon stated that he was very impressed with the level of development that has taken place on the Ports and at the way in which dock workers can maneuver heavy machinery in such a small space. Stressing on the necessity for a close collaboration, Minister Sinon added:

‘’If all the Ministries and agencies work together, we can achieve so much more and become the most competitive and preferable Port in the region”. He also put much emphasis on the need to find the best conditions so as to attract the youth into working on the ports and on commercial fishing boats.

 

For her part Minister Alexander noted that with the developments to modernize the Ports, new posts will be created thus leading to an increase in the demand for labour. She informed the different organizations present that her Ministry will work with them to assess their needs in terms of the personnel and skills needed for the new posts that will be created.

“It is important therefore to have a good Human Resource Plan in order to provide training for suitable new staff” said Minister Alexander.

 

On the subject of the issues brought up by workers during the visit, Minister Alexander confirmed that officials from her Ministry will conduct follow up visits to discuss them further and find plausible solutions.

The representatives of the agencies present also put forward certain queries which the Ministers addressed. This included questions about the impending increase in port fees about to come in to force next month and for which Minister Morgan gave the raison d’être.

All three Ministers expressed their gratitude towards all who participated and helped realize the fruitful working visit.

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