MWUN Charges Lagos Government to Build Modern Jetties  

  The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has lamented the absence of a single modern jetty in Lagos, even as it called on the Lagos State Government to pay more attention to the development of waterfronts which according to the union is lying shallow. Speaking with pressmen at the election of two districts of the union; Seamen Commercial District and the Seamen Industrial District in Lagos yesterday, President of Seamen and NIWA branch of MWUN, Comrade Francis Bunu said that if properly harnessed, the waterfronts can generate so much revenue for the government and ease the traffic congestion in Apapa.  He said that most of the boat accidents happening in Lagos State waterways is the fault of the state and federal government and their refusal to dredge the waterways and remove wrecks.   He noted that the amount of money that government has pumped into the road sector is more than how much it has invested in the waterways.  According to Comrade Bunu, there is need for serious collaboration between the state government and the union if it must harness the potentials inherent on the waterways.  He said "Lagos State Government is making the waterfronts to remain shallow, the revenue that is supposed to come from there is not being harnessed, they are going to partner the union if they want to harness this sector. Only private boats movements alone, if properly harnessed, there would not be traffic here again" "If there is a ferry service traffic would be eased off. If the state and federal government are doing a good job, we would not have any boat mishap, the waterfronts are not even properly dredged" "In the aspect of the jetties, there is no single modern jetty in this Lagos, if you see anyone,  it is somebody's private jetty. The public that are accessing the waters do not also have modern facilities to use" "The government is not putting their efforts in the maritime sector, and the maritime sector alone can bring money to this country more than the oil if properly harnessed" On the ongoing rift between the union and the Association of Tourists Boats and Water Transport Operators of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) Comrade Bunu noted that the law setting up the union is very clear. According to him, all workers aboard any of the boats and ferries automatically belonged to the union. He blamed the Nigerian Police for allowing the crisis between both bodies at the waterfront to fester because failed to act according to the law.  "A trade union decree established the union and there was jurisdiction set out for it, but when other people suddenly started encroaching on these territory,  the police were told but they did not act" "We don't see ATBOWATON as a body because they have not even engaged us as such, they boat operators and the law allows them to operate, but they cannot dictate for those that work for them,  we are the ones that control those that work for them" he said  At the end of the district elections, Comrade Sunday Avosen emerged chairman of Seamen Commercial District while Comrade Power Unukefe emerged chairman of the seamen industrial district.   

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