By DAPO OLAWUNI
The President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju has knocked the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for the poor sensitization of maritime stakeholders, especially the workers, on the Blue Economy gains and core objectives of his new ministry.
DAILY TREND reports that the maritime workers union, as well as other household unions including the Merchant Navy, the NPA senior staff among others, were left out of a recent stakeholders engagement held by Oyetola in Lagos recently.
Going by the conspicuous absence of these critical unions, maritime stakeholders fear that the Marine and Blue Economy Minister is Anti-workers, and unfriendly.
MWUN had subsequently condemned the Minister for failing to take bold steps in payment of old seafarers under the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) about eighteen years after their disengagement.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) Annual Lecture, MAMAL 2023 held in Lagos on Wednesday, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adeyanju said the union is in the dark as to what the Blue Economy concept is all about.
He also lamented that boat navigation on the Lagos Inland waters have been inhibited greatly recently by water hyacinth, despite the contracts allocation for its removal.
“If you go to Marina now, the entire jetty area is covered by water hyacinth, despite the millions of Naira that has been committed to removal of the hyacinth, where is it coming from?
Contracts upon Contracts have been given out for clearing the hyacinth but its coming back” Adeyanju stated
Speaking on the shortcomings of the Blue Economy Minister, Comrade Adeyanju who is also the Deputy President of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) said there is no enough awareness on the Blue Economy.
“The stakeholders are not being carried along, the workers out there are not being carried along, it is a new concept, the Ministry of Transportation was divided in order to create the new Ministry, however, we have not been fully orientated on the concept of blue economy, what do we stand to gain, what does seafarers, NPA and others stand to gain from Blue Economy? The Ministry should tell the whole world.
“Minister of Blue Economy and his Permanent Secretary should come out and inform us because at the end of the day, the seafarers and Dockworkers are at the receiving end, where their salaries are not paid, at the end of the day, expatriates are brought in to do the job. We know more than these people, they should not be brought to come take over our jobs” he said