By DAPO OLAWUNI
Twenty eight years after the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), the Federal Government has commenced a verification process which proceeds payment of all the unpaid benefits to the affected seafarers.
Since the NNSL Liquidation in 1995 many of the affected seafarers and workers who are now aged, have been abandoned, while many of them have died already.
Speaking in a chat with maritime journalists in Lagos on Monday, President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju stated that a verification exercise has commenced, to determine the number of affected seafarers, those who have been paid and audit payment and cost (the rate used in the payment), to determine those that are dead and date of demise and those alive, and seek guidance from Pension Transitional Administration Department, PTAD, for the payment of their pensions.
Speaking, Comrade Adeyanju said “On the aged seafarers, a committee has been set up by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, they held a meeting last week here in Lagos just to take verification of the number of people that are still alive and those that have died
They are meeting next month again for the final verification at all the seaports. After this, the payment would commence.
“What we want is for government to pay the seafarers so that we can close up this case” he said
Our correspondent learnt that a three-point MoU was reached between the Federal Ministry of Transportation and MWUN after a meeting at the instance of the immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
According to the MoU, after exhaustive deliberations, a nine man committee was set up to carryout the verification exercise.