…Urges FG to Maintain Statusquo on Port Concession Agreements
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have flayed the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) the port terminal operators, shipping companies and stevedoring contractors for not valuing and honoring Nigerian port workers who are the wheel of the nation’s economy.
President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju stated this at the union’s national secretariat in Lagos on Wednesday while receiving the Honorary Fellowship Award bestowed on him by the Institute of Corporate and Public Sector Professionals (ICPSC)
The union has equally urged the federal government not to terminate the concession agreement of any of the existing terminal operators, saying that they have performed well so far.
Recall that the MWUN recently lost of its prominent leader and for President of NPA Branch, Comrade Adeleke Sanni.
In his acceptance speech after receiving the award, Comrade Adeyanju commended the ISPSC led by its President Mrs Rachael Folashade Arabameh, urging NPA management, Terminal Operators, Shipping companies and stevedoring contractors to take a cue from the ISPSC to celebrate Nigerian workers today while they are still alive.
“The management of NPA, the stevedoring contractors do not value the workers that are doing the job, if an institute like this can come down and carryout visibility study on the maritime workers union of Nigeria and we are being identified as one of the responsible union leaders, I think we have to thank them”
“The management of NPA and terminal operators should continue to honour us, we have paid our dues, this is an example for them all, let them learn to value and appreciate us, not when we die, they would say they want to honor our leaders, our honor should come while we are alive” he said
The MWUN boss described the Honorary Fellowship Award, the highest honore of the ISPSC as a motivation for him to do more for society.
“The honour is not for me alone, it is for all the workers in the port of the Federation, including dockworkers, seafarers and the NPA workers” he said
While fielding questions from journalists, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju urged the federal government to retain existing terminal operators at the port, considering the significant impact some of them have made over the past 15 years.
He warned that bringing any other company on board could spell danger for the port system, considering the already established relationship with the workers.
He said, “I can assure you that some of the indigenous terminal operators that I know have contributed immensely to the growth of dockworkers and they should still retain their jobs.
“The union still believes in maintaining the old wife than marrying a new one that you may not know the kind of character she would start to exhibit when she gets home. So, we still stand with our belief that these present terminal operators are lovers of workers.
“They have already done what I think is best of them as an employer of labour, so we don’t have any cause to disagree or say that the government is trying to remove or retain them.
“Our fear is: don’t bring somebody that would turn the boat upside down. Let us continue with the old wife that we know all her characters. This is the mindset of the union. We are not saying that the government should not review the operations of terminal operators but we are saying that they should allow peace to reign in the industry”
“This is because, from 2006 till date, we can say that there is an element of improvement in terminal operations. The dockworkers over the years did not have condition of service. It was when the terminal operators came in that we were able to have the condition of service for dockworkers coupled with increased and improved welfare package and every two years, we go for Collective Bargaining Agreement meeting with the terminal operators midwifed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).”
Speaking earlier, the President of Institute of Corporate and Public Sector Professionals (ICPSC), Rachael Folashade Arabameh stated that Comrade Adewale Adeyanju is billed to speak at the ISPSC Conference coming up in London in November 2021.
She called for MWUN to inject more of its members into the institute and take advantage of its capacity building initiatives.
Arabameh lauded Adeyanju’s impacts in the maritime industry, which she said attracted the attention of the institute.
“Everywhere we get to, people say positive things about Prince Adewale Adeyanju. We need someone like him to take up a leadership position in Nigeria. If we have somebody like him, the country wouldn’t have drifted apart to this level.
“His humble and unostentatious lifestyle is worthy of emulation and our attention has been drawn to the exhibition of his exemplary leadership in the maritime industry and that is why we are bestowing him this award.
“Our highest level of award is the honorary award which we are giving to the President General today. This certificated award would qualify him to attend the institute’s conference coming up on November 24 – 28 and other benefits,” Arabameh said.