…Dockworkers Biometric I.D Card to Commence At ABTL Terminal
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Muhammed Bello-Koko has been urged to encourage indigenous terminal operators at Nigerian ports by renewing their concession agreements.
This charge was given by the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju in Lagos.
Adeyanju while addressing journalists said that unlike the foreign terminal operators whose activities and investments translate into capital flight, indigenous terminals have encouraged Nigerian workers better.
DAILY TREND recalls that the NPA Managing Director at a parley with the maritime press recently disclosed that about five terminal operators concession agreements have expired and that the agency is on the verge of renewing them with new conditions.
While making a case for the indigenous terminals, Comrade Adeyanju urged NPA to give them more favourable terms of agreement than their foreign counterparts who care less about Nigerians.
“Our indigenous terminal operators need to be given support, they have done well. We all know what transpired in 2016, when they were coming onboard, we were thinking that they were not going to perform, but now, we have seen the dividends of privatizing the ports, it has given employment.
“What transpired there was that NPA who happens to be the master stevedore then, privatising the port affected all the staff of NPA from 14,000 workers down to 3,000 workers.
“But as things goes on, we have been able to manage the terminal operators.
“We need to give them a word of encouragement that they should improve on their terminals. I agree with you that some of them are not good, but to me, they have come to stay, anyone that is found wanting among them, the contract of concession should be reviewed.
“We must continue applauding our indigenous terminals, most of all the foreign terminal operators we have at the port today like APMT, and other multinational companies, they came to Nigeria and invested, and they are making a hell lot of money in this country to go and develop their own country, so why don’t we encourage our own indigenous terminals, the government should encourage them to do more
“This is why you see the IOC have no regard for Nigerian laws, they believe that they have the money and resources.
Impunity is order of the day with these multinational companies.
“Government should give the indigenous terminals more things to do, than their foreign partners” he said
Meanwhile, the MWUN President General has revealed that anytime from now, the issuance of biometric identity cards for dockworkers and seafarers would commence.
According to him, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) who is in charge of the scheme, has done the administrative side of it, and anytime from now, they would be going from terminal to terminal, in order to carry out physical verification.
“For all dockworkers and seafarers, the administrative side has been completed, what remains now is the thumbprinting and they would start issuing the identity cards.
“I think the exercise would commence at ABTL Terminal, it has come to stay” Comrade Adeyanju stated.