NLC threatens to shut seaports over challenges


By Abiodun OBA

Where the federal government fails to address some of the challenges confronting the nation’s seaports including salary review, the Nigeria Labour Congress has threatened to shut them down.

The NLC President, Joseph Ajaero, disclosed this to newsmen during a courtesy visit to the President of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Adewale Adeyanju, in Apapa.

Ajaero asked Adeyanju to give the Federal Government a two-week deadline to review workers’ salaries and address some of the sector’s challenges.

According to him, the government should clarify who is responsible for reviewing port concession agreements.

He went on to say that no one could blame the MWUN for not being patient enough after two years of waiting.

“You wrote to the minister of transportation in 2021 August and 2022 came and passed and we are approaching August 2023. President, if it is going to be possible, give them two weeks ultimatum from today.

“They will call us if not, you know the central position of maritime in Nigeria even in Africa. Nobody will toil with anything that concerns our workers.

“On this issue alone, labour has been writing since 2021 and this is 2023. I, as the NLC president, do not have any sympathy for anyone who is toiling with the interest of our workers. MWUN president, the decision is yours. When you decide, do them a letter and shut the seaport in the country.”

“If they do not act on this, NLC will join you. We are going to give you a solidarity action,” he added.

In response, Adeyanju, said, “We will be giving two weeks ultimatum to the Minister of Transportation to come and explain who is regulating terminal operators. And if nothing is done, we will be shutting down port operations.

“Thank you for giving us the ultimatum and I want to confirm here that the ultimatum will start on Monday, 6th March 2023. If the government fails to respond, we will shut down the port.”

© 2023, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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