The Nigerian Ports Authority Senior Staff Association has said that despite the recruitment exercise which was carried out recently at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) the management failed to used the opportunity to address the dearth of junior workers in the system.
President of the union, Comrade Adamu Yau stated this in an interview with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week saying most of the staff recruited in the last exercise were on senior cadre.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that the NPA Branch President of Maritime Workers Union (MWUN) Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli had raised a similar concern in August, saying that about 200 jetties in Nigeria are left unmanned due to lack of junior staff into NPA in the past decade.
He said that currently, the NPA is operating an inverted pyramid structure whereby the senior staff are more than the junior staff.
Speaking with our correspondent this week, the Senior Staff President confirmed that "The recruitment that happened recently did not solve that, the top is still heavy, it doesn't add anything to the structure of the authority, most of the new intakes are senior officers so the top management is still thick"
"In the new recruitment, the senior staff are more than the junior staff, they are not more than 200 staff in total, they are not many"
Comrade Yau however stated that as of today, the two house unions in NPA do not have problem with the management in terms of welfare, he assured that the present management under Hadiza Bala Usman has done well in enhancing workers welfare.
In terms of promotion, Comrade Yau revealed that in the last three years, the present management has effected promotion exercise three times.
"Right now as i speak with you, promotion letters are being given to eligible staff and officers. When a staff or officer is not stagnated, he or she would be able to put in his best" he said.
On the dredging of Warri port, Comrade Yau said that the dredging works is ongoing.
He advised that in order to make Warrior Port and Calabar Port attractive to importers and bring more ships into the region, the Nigerian Shippers Council should provide incentives for importers for them to use both ports.
According to him, despite the fact that Lagos ports are congested, importers have refused to make use of other ports around the country. He said this is because of the huge market in Lagos.
"Stemming vessels to Warri and Calabar Ports depends on the importer or the shipper, they are using Lagos as a business centre, in Lagos, when an importer brings container, at the point of discharge at the warehouse, you would see people surrounding the container, and waiting for what they would buy from it, but in Delta and Calabar, this is very rare"
"In Lagos, anything that comes out of the container, people are there to buy it. This is what made Lagos port to be congested with containers, the market here is very high.
The importer at the point of loading decides where the container goes to and not the authority in Nigerian port, and most of them chose Lagos"
"The federal government through the shippers Council should expedite action on how to woo Nigerian importers with incentives in order for them to use other ports in the country" he said