15 August 2015, Abuja – The federal government has issued ultimatum to the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to pay all the outstanding salaries and allowances of dockworkers in the country.
The government was said to have given the marching order to the multibillion naira government agency to forestall the grounding of the economy by the aggrieved dockworkers.The dockworkers, under the auspices of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) had threatened to down tools by shutting down the nation’s seaports situated in Lagos, Onne, Calabar, Warri, Sapele, and Port Harcourt if their demands for improved welfare especially and the payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances were not met by the management of the authority.The directive was said to have been given through the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT), Alhaji Mohammed Bashar.
President of MWUN, Mr. Emmanuel Nted, who confirmed the development, said the federal government, through the FMOT, had written to the NPA management to pay the dockworkers all their outstanding salaries and allowances.
The unionist argued that it was only the full payment of the dockworkers entitlements that would avert the downing of tools in the nation’s seaports.
He said the directive to the management of NPA to pay the dockworkers was contained in a letter to the NPA Managing Director, Alhaji Ado Bayero dated August 4, 2015 and signed by, Director of Maritime Services, FMOT, Mr. S. U. Galadanchi.
He said the letter warned on the implication of making workers to go ahead with their threat to shut down the nation’s seaports.
Nted said the workers had no choice than to go on strike because the NPA had reneged on the latest agreement reached with stakeholders.
“The NPA and the Association of Stevedoring Companies on July 9, 2015 met with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and fixed July 30 as the last date to pay the affected workers,” he said.
According to him, the NPA management was responsible for the delay and refusal to pay the workers, in spite of several agreements. Reacting to the development, the President of Dockworkers’ Branch of MWUN, Mr. Adewale Adeyanju said efforts are being made to solve the issue so that the aggrieved dockworkers do not go ahead with their threat to down tools across the country.
– This Day