30 May 2013, Lagos – MINISTER of transport Senator Idris Umar has rebuked the Chairman of the Ibru Port Complex and jetty Chief Oscar Ibru at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos for using derogatory words on dockworkers.
Ibru who referred to dockworkers as touts and thieves when he took the floor to address the audience was rebuked by the Minister and urged to stop the use of such derogatory words.
It will be recalled that the minister called for a meeting of on-shore, off-shore, stevedores, shipping firms, oil and gas platforms and the leadership of dockworkers following reports of high level of security breaches occasioned by alleged activities of some private jetty owners.
He also said that the essence of the meeting was to foster a better understanding amongst stakeholders with a view to growing the economy.
“It is unfair to call every dockworker a thief or tout, please stop the use of derogatory language on peolpe” the Minister stated.
Oscar Ibru however apologised for his statement but maintained his opposition to dockworkers on certain service jetties.
While jetty owners accused dockworkers of not having the requisite knowledge of working on certain jetties and oil and gas platforms, the dockworkers’ leadership is however accusing private jetty owners of doing clandestine businesses at their jetties.
It was in the process of this counter accusation that Ibru referred to dockworkers as thieves and touts, a situation that immediately drew the attention of the minister who stepped into the matter and asked Oscar Ibru to stop the the use such derogatory words.
Besides the minister’s rebuke, the leadership of the dockworkers branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, disclosed that they are going to deal with Ibru and his organisation in their own way
According to Comrade Abdul Eroje, some of these dockworkers are graduates that have trained in Nigeria and overseas.
Abdul expressed surprised at the way and manner the management of the Ibru port Complex treat dockworkers, noting that some of the private jetties must have something they are hiding.
*Godwin Oritse, Vanguard