Nigerians on social media have condemned the strike action embarked upon by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Wednesday which paralysed commercial activities at seaports nationwide.
DAILY TREND visit to the Apapa Port Gate today revealed that MWUN leaders, led by its President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju barricaded the port gate while trucks seeking entrance to lift cargoes where stranded.
Adeyanju said the union embarked on the industrial action following the refusal by the International Oil Companies in Nigeria to pay stevedoring wages to dockworkers appointed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Speaking on a video post by Nigerian Tribune on Twitter, Henry Claudius @Hlimited reacted that “See their cheeks, .90 % of them don’t depend on their salary. They are bribe takers.
They are used to cheap money. Things are drying up now they remember entitlements. Lol”
Another Twitter user kunle Jimber @kunle_ji stated that “It’s always about money, they’ve never came together to fight for efficiency and professionalism at the ports but, when it comes to money, they sing solidarity! All these pot bellied men can’t tell me they’ve not milked this sector dry”
Also in a reaction Ziggy @RollZiggy said “This ones them don chop money tire ….. see their stomach”
President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said that the decision to embark on strike was its last resort after the expiration of the two weeks ultimate issued to the IOCs on the matter.
According to Adeyanju, the IOCs have also refused to get into talks with the union for a way forward since the expiration of the ultimatum. A situation he said had been so for about one year now.
He said, “We want to use this medium to intimate you, and the Federal Government, of the non-payment of stevedoring wages to dockworkers by the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.
“We are aware that on June 1, 2018, the NPA appointed stevedoring contractors to provide stevedoring services at various offshore jetties and onshore locations to the international oil services and other operators.
“It will be necessary to inform you that NPA had held several meetings with these operators to grant access to the government-appointed stevedoring contractors, process their invoices and effect payment, but unfortunately, the operators have refused to comply with the NPA directive after one year that the contractors were appointed”
Meanwhile the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has intervened on the port protest.
While addressing the protesting Maritime Workers this morning, NPA Executive Director, Marine Operations, Dr Sokente Davies who represented the MD assured the workers that the International Oil Companies (IOC) have called for a meeting by 1 pm.
Hadiza Bala Usman explained that the Authority is with the workers over their unpaid entitlement from the IOC’s.
“The management of the NPA empathises with the workers over their situation. We empathise with the workers because we are the ones who appointed the stevedoring contractors”
“However, we are going to sort the issue because the IOC’s, who are the major recalcitrant in this matter, have started calling for a meeting since the workers began their action.
“The awareness has been created, and we believe the meeting that will hold by 1 pm today will solve the issues.”
The MWUN leadership were still in a meeting with the NPA leadership as at the time of filing this report.