Sambo Assures full payment to MWUN pensioners
… NIMASA DG has agreed to provides a befitting Building to serve as Maritme Seafarers Center.
By Okezie Nnadi
The Maritme Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) held a successful National Executive Council Meeting that has sets the ball rolling for unbelievable achievements after 16 years of Port concessions, as NIgerian Ports Authority (NPA)and National Inland and Waterways Authority (NIWA) kick start immediate employment process for low cadre officers during the event that took place at Golden Tulip Hotel at Festac , on Monday in Lagos.
The President General of MWUN Comrade Adewale Adeyanju in his welcome address lamented how the port concession exercise that took place at Nigerian Ports in 2006, about 16 years ago affected 9,000 people that lost their jobs, leaving only 4,000 work force on ground at NPA.
The PG revealed that there is an extinction of junior workforce at NPA even though the Senior ones are retiring. He called for adequate personnel spread to all areas of port operations, in order to man jetties and port terminals.
Comrade Adeyanju noted that the lack of a clear-cut maritime policy is a major factor affecting the concessioning programme as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)
seem to lack the statutory basis to checkmate the private terminal operators.
He called for a national transport Policy for the overall development of the country.
“We enjoin the necessary authority to correct this anomaly, as port operators without a regulatory body pose enormous danger to port users and non development of our exporting ability
“As workers in the transport sector, we yearn for seamless movement of people and goods from one point to another to boost our economy and stimulate social integration. Unfortunately, this desire is hampered clearly by our nation’s lack of a clear transport policy. It is obviously now necessary that, Nigeria develops a
sustainable national integrated transport policy to serve as a catalyst to the overall development of the country” he said
The MWUN commended the Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo for securing President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)
He also urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to put the CVFF to a good work of procuring more vessels to provide employment for the teeming NSDP cadet trainees.
The MWUN President General noted that employees of Shipping companies in Nigeria are being treated badly with very poor terms of engagement and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
“We must therefore begin to consider and institute a working NJIC for the shipping sector. It has therefore become important that we take action to get respect and dignity for our members in the shipping sector with the view to alleviate their pain and suffering.
“This is why it is important to stress that agreements, collective bargaining, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are necessary tools which should be held holy and complied to always when they are reached.
“We are therefore very pleased with the management of Bollore Transport & Logistics Nigeria Limited who recently entered into an MOU with the Union —MWUN, which provisions we implore BTL management to comply with as a precedent to others.
“Consequently, we reinstate the state of emergency declared in the Nigeria Shipping Industry by the Union — MWUN and call on the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) and other well meaning maritime practitioners to take heed now to save our shipping industry from imminent industrial action” he said.
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) responding to the PG’ s address said it has received approval from the Federal Government to begin employment process for more staff so as to gear up the output of the Authority and strengthen maritime activities in Nigeria.
This statement was revealed by the Managing Director of NPA Mohammed Bello Koko during the National Executive Council meeting of MWUN.
The managing director was represented by the General Manager Human Resources, Mr Ahmad Umar, Bello-Koko.
The managing director expressed concern that there are more senior staff in NPA than the junior officers which currently is an issue but will soon fade out as the Authority is ready to employ more hands into cadre to boost the system.
According to him , “ NPA currently has an inverted pyramid structure with more senior officers occupying larger number, than the junior workforce” .
The NPA boss gave kudos to MWUN high level of leadership under Comrade Adetunji and his executives for embracing dialogue dispute resolution and he assured the union continue support in welfare from the Authority.
Speaking further he said that, “The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is concerned about the dwindling numbers in terms of staffing, the Managing Director is interested in this particular issue, with this approval to employ more of staff than officers
There is going to be an increase in the numbers, this is to strengthen your union and address most of the issues you have raised here, so be rest assured that NPA is addressing the issues.
Responding in the same vein was the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Dr George Moghalu who was represented by Mr Hakeem Agbaje and he confirmed that NIWA too is also making preparations towards employment of more junior staffs into the agency.
In His words’ “ Many that are employed back then are now senior staff, in fact we have them up to the level of Assistant Managing Directors, that is level 14 officers in NIWA presently, this tells us that we need more staff to handle most of our day in day out activities “ NIWA assured.
While the Director General Nigerian Maritime Administration and safety Agency ( NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh has agreed to the union’s demand by making sure that the agency provides them with a befitting building to serve as Maritime Seafarers Center for the Union in their area of choice in Lagos.
The DG revealed how much efforts the agency has made to fulfill the promise even before now that has not yielded desires results but promised not to relent until it is actualized.
Dr Jamoh also assured the leadership of MWUN that the payment of pension to aged seafarers is being looked into with the support of the Minister of Transportation, Engr Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, who has assured that after the December festivities, the efforts would yield results