By DAPO OLAWUNI
The President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju has assured maritime industry stakeholders that his new position as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) is not to intimidate stakeholders in the maritime sector but to further enhance the working relationship between the stakeholders and the workers.
In this exclusive interview with DAILY TREND shortly after his swearing-in at the 13th National Delegate Conference of the NLC which held in Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday at the International Conference Center.
How do you feel today after being inaugurated as Deputy President of NLC?
I feel elated and I believe it is a clarion call for service, I believe the new assignment would propel me to do more for the workers in general and their welfare which has always been my concern. My achievement today is dedicated to all the workers in the country, it is no longer about the maritime workers union alone, it now cuts across the nation. I hold my progress to all my members, it is a clarion call and I believe I have the ability to perform.
How would your new position reflect on the maritime industry?
It is going to help the industry, because today we are on the highest peak of the labour movement in Nigeria today, so the maritime sector are going to see a very good impact of being a the Deputy President of the NLC, at the same time, it is going to boost the moral of our members, the agitation with the stakeholders whereby we usually meet some people before getting our matter resolved is no longer there. It is going to be a nice achievement for us. All these employers of labour that have no regard for their employees, they need to seat up this time around, the era whereby they play on the intelligence of workers is not going to be business as usual.
The current fuel scarcity and Naira Scarcity, how is it affecting port workers?
You have heard what the NLC President said, he has given an ultimatum that under one week, if the situation is not addressed, the NLC would take action.
The perennial fuel scarcity and Naira redesign challenges is not affecting only the dockworkers, but it is also affecting all the stakeholders, Diesel is now very expensive, I want to sympathize with the terminal operators in the maritime industry, I wonder how they are managing to buy diesel to run their businesses.
I believe myself and the new executives of NLC would not fold our hands and allow Nigerians to die in silence.
Nigeria currently is a time bomb, I have money in my account but I cannot access it.
Should the maritime stakeholders expect tougher time now that you are on the executive of NLC?
I want to assure all the stakeholders in the maritime sector, the terminal operators, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council for their support all the time, I want to let them know that my new position as the Deputy President of NLC is to support the agenda and policies that I believe would help the workers in general, so I am not going to use the position to intimidate or threaten the good relationship that we have been enjoying with the management.
I know my constituents and I know where I come from, I will not run away from my base or run away from by responsibilities.