By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Friday Inaugurated a brand new unit; Maritime Barge Operators Unit, in order to harness the potentials of the booming and emerging barge business on Nigerian waters.
While inaugurating about 70 operators that cuts across the unit which was split into two; Maritime Barge Operators Unit 1& 2, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said barge operations have come to stay in Nigeria.
He commended the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi for the revitalisation of rail networks across Nigeria and ongoing intermodalism of Nigerian ports.
According to him, barge operations cannot go into extinction because Nigerians have tasted it, just like the rail network that is now fully operational, barge operations have come to stay.
Comrade Adeyanju said the barge operations falls directly under the jurisdiction of the union, in line with Rule 2 of its constitution under the Trade Union Amendment Decree 4 of 1999.
Addressing members of the union under the new unit, the MWUN PG said the four branches of the union all have a stake in the emerging unit, due to their mode of operation.
“I want to assure you that this union would give you all the necessary supports required in line with our constitution for you to operate successfully”
“We would not want you to derail our administration, the union today is scientific, it is not the union of yesteryears when people parade with broken bottles and cutlasses.
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria under our watch would never tolerate that attitude of bringing in cutlasses, guns or any other weapon”
“Lack of sincerity is what usually brings problem, our organogram speaks for itself, if the Chairman is not around, the Vice Chairman can act on his behalf.
They must always report all issues to their district chairman close to them and should not take laws into their hands”
“Money is the root of all evil, therefore, do not put the interest of what you are going to gain now as your overall priority, but put the interest of the people you are going to serve and the interest of the nation in mind” he admonished the new entrants.
Speaking earlier, Deputy President General, Comrade Tonye Harry who is Chairman of the Inauguration Committee said the Committee was set up three weeks ago to look into the affairs of the maritime barge operators.
“Within this Time, we have held several meetings with the operators and we have agreed with them that there should be maritime barge operating unit”
“This action is in tandem with Rule 2 of our constitution which says one of the aims and objectives of the union is to secure and unionise eligible waters within the jurisdictional scope of MWUN as stipulated by the Trade Union Amendment Decree 4 of 1999”
“For now, 22 jetties within the Lagos axis is viable, and the catchment areas are about fourteen, and these are all located between Festac, Apapa, Ido and Lekki area, not counting those jetties situated within the port axis”
“The operators are about 70 in number and this means we can unionise them, and they can for now form two units for them to commence operations pending when we have a district for them” he said.