Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Muhammed Bello-Koko has said that the footage allowances payable to Nigerian boat pilots were suspended for investigation by the Salaries and Wages Commission.
Bello-Koko who fielded questions from maritime journalists at the commissioning of the newly renovated Control Tower in Apapa last week said the suspension of the allowance is to give it proper documentation.
According to the NPA boss, the footage allowance was introduced at Nigerian ports during the Cement Armada, in 1974 when half of the world’s concrete supply was mysteriously diverted to the port of Lagos.
He said “At that time, the pilots that were operating in the port were not Nigerians, and because of the hazards from the cement, a certain allowance was introduced by the government.
“When we came onboard, the money was being paid, however, it was not properly documented, there was no approval by the salaries and wages commission for payment of the allowance.
“Based on this, we wrote to the Salaries and Wages Commission to review it and give us the necessary approval, so we make sure that it is in the budget. They have done that, they have visited the ports and they have written their reports, when we get the necessary approvals, all that would be taken care of.
“We have sat down with the pilots, we have paid some of the footage allowances, some are outstanding because we need to regularize them” he assured