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NPA workers decry decline in junior staff; say there are more supervisors than workers. 

Segun Oladipupo

The Nigerian Ports Authority junior staff cadre have raised alarm over the gradual decline in its workforce, saying there are more supervisors in the Authority than workers at work.

Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli, President of the junior staff of NPA, stated this on Monday while addressing delegates at the Quadrennial Conference of the union in Lagos.

Mazeli was re-elected at the delegates conference for second term in office without opposition from anyone.

He lamented that the numerical strength of members of union were dwindling daily, attributing the decline to promotions, retirements and death, which he described as a natural phenomena.

He therefore called on the management of maritime agency to employ more people into the junior cadre to boost the workforce.

His words, “The numerical strength of our members are dwindling every day. This is a result of promotions, retirements and death which is a natural phenomenon.

“We wish to use this opportunity to once again appeal to our management to employ more junior workers to boost the workforce.”

According to him, hundreds of private jetties operating in the country do not have representatives from the junior workers.

Speaking on the Eastern port, he called on relevant government agencies to direct Shippers and shipping companies to take their cargo to the Eastern ports which he said would help facilitate trade and boost the economy of the country.

“Also given the fact that Onitsha is the commercial hub in the South Eastern Nigeria, it makes it imperative for the development of Onitsha seaport to boost economic activities and create employment for Nigerians.

Mazeli also urged management of the NPA to reduce harbour due in the eastern seaports, as part of measures to stimulate greater patronage by shippers.

On retirees’ gratuity, he enthused that the scheme has been raised from 180 to 280 percent.

Primarily on  the collaboration with  the senior staff NPA union, Comrade Mazeli noted that ” Prior to this administration, our two in-house union’s were engaging management separately. But this administration has adopted a collaborative approach in interfacing with management.

“I wish to report that this approach has brought much dividends to the workers of NPA amongst which are dissolving the contentious/aged long stagnation issues, harmonisation of salary structure etc”.

Giving account on the industrial peace and harmony in the maritime sector, he maintained that the last four years under his watch witnessed tremendous working relationship with management , thus seeking management collaboration at all levels to ensure peaceful coexistence that will culminate into achieving the ultimate vision and mission of NPA and its numerous subsidiaries.

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