•Says review should give preference to indigenous concessionaires
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has expressed full support for the ongoing review of the almost 13-year old concession of the nation’s seaports.
Speaking with our correspondent last weekend in Lagos, President General of the union; Comrade Adewale Adeyanju commended the 2006 port concession as a huge success, even as he affirmed that the union has nothing against the impending review exercise.
The union leader stated that just like nothing in life is permanent, the terms of the engagement between the NPA and the concessionaires are also open for review and appraisal.
He also acknowledged that some of the concessionaires have not done well, in the area of their commitment to the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) relationship with the union and responsibilities to dockworkers.
Comrade Adeyanju however recommended that preference should be given to indigenous terminal operators in the review.
He singled out some indigenous terminal operators (names withheld) for upholding the terms of the concession and for maintaining harmony with the workers
“Preference should be given to indigenous terminal operators, because they are Nigerians, they have a higher stake in the business than those who come from Europe and other countries to pack Millions of Dollars every year”.
“If these foreign terminal operators love this country, why can’t they assist with the palliative work at Tin port, or are they not part of the port system. Their containers pass their everyday; it is only Nigerian companies that have been assisting with the repair”.
He also denied any compromise on the part of the union on the poor state of the roads leading to the ports. According to him, there is evidence that contract for the repair of the failed portion of the roads leading to Tin Can port has been awarded.
“How can we compromise, we are a responsible union, we have an agreement in collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress, and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Transportation. The Vice President came to the roads twice and he said the contracts for the repair of Tin Can and Apapa have been awarded”
“I (MWUN) cannot go on strike and start making trouble again since the contract has been awarded, what the union can do and what we are doing now is to ensure that the contract is executed”.
He blamed some of the terminal operators for not being forthcoming in the efforts to repair the roads leading to the ports.
He specifically blamed APM Terminal for being most irresponsive in the efforts to free the access roads of container-lading trucks leading to congestion.