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Maritime Workers To Shut Down Lagos, Onne Ports Over Local Content Breaches

Posted on March 30, 2022

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s intervention to stop the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) plan to shutdown the Lagos, Onne and other seaports across the country over International Oil Companies’ (IOC), refusal to allow indigenous stevedoring companies access  their platforms as required by the nation’s law, proved abortive.

The union, in a meeting with the council’s management, over the weekend, insisted on shuting down the seaports on Tuesday saying, the IOCs have repeatedly disregarded the federal government’s directives on the issue under discussion.

LEADERSHIP reports that MWUN had threatened to shut down all seaports across the country over refusal of the International Oil Companies(IOCs), to allow indigenous stevedoring companies access to their platforms as required by the nation’s law.

The executive secretary of the council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime in the meeting with MWUN president- general, Com. Adewale Adeyanju, appealed to the union to shelve the strike action so as to allow the council intervene.

Jime urged the union to suspend the planned strike by considering the effect of such action on port operations and the economy at large.

“I have called the MWUN leadership because of the notice we read on the papers that you want to down tools. Our role is to make sure that there is little or no disruption in the port because one minute disruption can have a devastating effect on the economy.

“That is the core reason why we say we should have a conversation with you. We as regulators are disappointed that what has come to stay as policy is not being obeyed and we will not sit down and watch. We know the consequences of the strike.

“I want to plead with you to tarry a while as you have done in the past. Let me assure that the Council is willing and ready to move with you. If you embark on general strike, it will be counter productive on the IOCs that are complying,” he pointed out.

Jime further commended the union for their robust collaboration with the council during the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring sustainability of port operations despite the lockdown.

Responding, Adeyanju said, he would have to contact the Central Working Committee (CWC), before the strike can be called off.

Adeyanju lamented that the IOCs have repeatedly disregarded the federal government’s directives adding that they do not have any form of regard for Nigerians despite making huge money from the country.

Adeyanju said, he would discuss with the  Central Working Committee (CWC) of MWUN on the outcome of the meeting and revert to management of the NSC but maintained that the decision to suspend the strike may be difficult.

He commended management of the NSC for stepping in as port economic regulator noting that the union will continue to partner the council.

Adeyanju said, the union believes so much on workers and employers cordial relationship pointing out that the ultimatum is an awareness to allow stakeholders understand demands made in addressing the anomalies.

“Nigeria comes first before any other thing . The MWUN of today have the heart of the country as we believe in this country. What we believe as a union is sincerity of purpose.

“We always weigh the options available before any trade dispute. The laws of the country must be respected . Stevedoring contracts is not a job not regulated by law. It is fully regulated by laws.

“The IOCs have no regards for the laws of this great country. Imagine our respected Minister of Transportation at a meeting months ago gave a directive for compliance and at the meeting, we all agreed with that directive from the minister and three months down the line, that directive has not been adhered to. This is to tell you that the IOCs have no regard for the laws of the land.

“We have been given mandate that the strike must commence and this is what we stand to do. The strike is imminent and they must respect the law. They are hiding so many things from Nigerians and come next week, we are not shifting ground and enough is enough. I am a servant of the workers and we cannot travel to their own country and disrespect the laws,” Adeyanju declared.


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