…As GDNL Terminal Apapa Allegedly Retires 5-Dockworkers with Poor Benefits
By DAPO OLAWUNI
After seven years of termination of their contracts by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) there are indications that Tally Clerks and Onboard Security men have regained their rightful place at Nigerian ports system as the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has announced an agreement with shipping companies to get them employed.
This is even as the union has alleged that one of the terminal operators in Apapa port, Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL) Terminal has places five of it’s members on retirement, albeit, with poor retirement benefits after putting 17-years of service.
DAILY TREND reports that in 2016, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi formally approved for NPA to terminate relationship with stevedoring contractors handling a set of about 5,000 dockworkers known as tally clerks and onboard security.
Since then, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has been pushing for re-employment for it’s members, even as it spelt out the danger of not having the Tally Clerks and Onboard Security men at the port.
Aside the country losing billions, the absence of tally clerk is making vessels laden for ports become porous as they are loaded with dangerous cargoes such as trafficking of illicit drugs, arms and ammunitions, as well as give access to stowaways, among others.
The jobs meant for the tally clerks who are supposed to be representative of the government at the ports, is being handled by private hands who have nothing to offer the nation.
However, while speaking at a meeting with all dockworkers representatives in Lagos on Tuesday, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju informed that shipping companies have now started employing back the Tally Clerks and Onboard Security men.
Speaking, he said “We are on the issue of the Tally Clerks and Onboard Security men who form part of the dock labour and have been having issues for the past seven years.
“We are on it now and the districts and units have held their grounds in supporting the Tally Clerks and Onboard Security men and they have started making use of them at the port now.
“It is not going to be like it was in the past when some of them became a nuisance to themselves, they don’t come to work, they allow stowaway onboard the vessel and so many funny things onboard the vessel.
“These are the commitment the shipping companies are asking from us. We are begging them to make use of all of you that have no job, and some of them have agreed to employ you and they are doing that in all the major areas now.
This is why I am thanking the district chairmen and unit chairmen of each area” he said
Speaking on the retirement of five of it’s members at GDNL Terminal, Comrade Adeyanju said “I am just hearing it now that five of our members at Greenview Development Terminal are placed on retirement, when I heard of their benefits, i think it is a death sentence, they are being given 750,000, these are people that have put in 17-years of service”
The MWUN boss said that most of the employers of labour at the port are not registered with the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) which is a proactive and employee dedicated government institution committed to the welfare of employees in the event of work related accidents and injuries.
According to the unionist, a list of all employers of labour at the port is now being compiled to ascertain those that are compliant and registered with the body.
“The NSITF were here with a critical matter that is confronting all workers across board. We challenged the management of NSITF that they were not present in port operations whereby a dockworker would have an accident onboard the vessel, and what belongs to the worker is not given to him. When workers die in active service, the gratuity and benefits that belongs to them would not be given to them, these were the issues we discussed with them.
“We want to let everyone know that there are some employers of labour who have no respect for their employees,and we believe that some of them are not registered with the NSITF, they pretend to have been registered with the NSITF, but we found out that only few of them operating in the maritime sector are registered with the body.
“This is why I directed the branch to comply all the names of employers at the port and send it back to the NSITF so that they can verify those registered with them. For those who are not registered, we might force them to go and register, for the benefit of all the workers” he said