For employing the services of private security personnel to man certain parts of the nation’s seaports, the two house unions in Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) are threatening showdown with the management.
Already, both the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and the Senior Staff Association (SSA) have written a protest letter to the management of NPA and they have also called for a meeting.
Shipping Position Weekly learnt that the private security personnel were employed secretly some weeks back and that the workers’ unions have declared that they would not cooperate with the management on the issue.
Officials of both SSA and MWUN confirmed that they have already written to the management of NPA, maintaining that engaging private security personnel will jeopardise the security of the ports and that as much as they are concerned about the possibility of their members losing their jobs, they are more concerned about the implication of the action on port and national security.
Confirming the emerging face-off in a chat with our correspondent, president general, MWUN, Comrade Onikolease Irabor argued that the step that was taken by NPA management was unacceptable to the workers.
“The Nigerian Ports Authourity is a technical entity and any security personnel that are coming in must be trained to understand the port environment”, he stated even as he confirmed the displeasure of the union with the development.
According to him, the security personnel of NPA are adequately trained and that the number of NPA security staff is adequate to provide security for sensitive security and commercial installations within the ports.
“Wherever these private security men are coming form, they can go and secure other places, not NPA”, Irabor stressed and added that the two house unions would fight to ensure that the private security men are not engaged.
According to him, the engagement of the security men was said to have been approved by the minister of transportation. “I can not see why the management of NPA who knows the importance of NPA should allow a security outfit that is not known and that was not trained for port operations to take over port security”, he declared.