14 October 2015, Bonny – Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the management of Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, to stop all midstream discharge of vessels in Bonny Rivers, Lagos and other port formations without using registered dockworkers as required by law, failing which the nation’s ports will be shut .
MWUN in a petition to the Managing Director of NPA , dated October 12, 2015, lamented that at the time of the petition, a vessel named “Industrial Chef” which shipping agent is Gac, berthed at Ladol, Lagos, on Friday, October 9, 2015, with undeclared cargo tonnage without the involvement of Stevedoring and Dockworkers in the stevedoring services.
President-General of MWUN, Mr. Nted Emmanuel Anthony, speaking on the issue, claimed that since the petition to NPA, two vessels were expected to berth in Bonny and Lodol, any moment from now, with alleged threat not to involve registered Stevedoring and Dockworkers in the stevedoring services.
According to him, “MV Hwak” is expected to berth at Bony Midstream, Rivers State, on or before Thursday, October 15, with both Deep Sea and Gac Bonny, as shipping agents. Also, expected to berth at Ladol, Lagos, any moment from now is “MV Panagia V” with Hullblyte as agent. This practice cannot continue in our ports in the midst of massive unemployment in the country.
“We cannot accept a situation where foreigners or unregistered workers take over jobs that Nigerians ought to do. We want to believe the management of NPA was not aware of this illegal practice that is why we are bringing it to its notice. If the management fails to stop it, it means it is conniving with the perpetrators of these illegal activities, and we will not have any other option than to shut the nation’s ports.”
However, in the petition by Secretary General of MWUN, Mr. S. Aham Ubani, said “we have to report that for some time now ships, bergs and oil rigs are being discharged at Ladol without the involvement of stevedoring and dockworkers in the stevedoring services. The most recent is the case of a vessel named “Industrial Chef” which berthed at Ladol on October 9, 2015 with undeclared cargo tonnage/CBM, without the use of registered dockworkers. This is illegal and against the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Act which stipulates that stevedoring services (loading /offloading of vessels in our ports, jetties terminal- on and offshore operations must be handled exclusively by registered dockworkers only.
“We therefore demand for the payment of stevedoring charges of all the operations handled in Ladol without involvement of dockworkers within 7 days, effective from the date of this letter.”
We also demand henceforth that no vessel should be allowed to berth and discharge at Ladol without the use services of a registered stevedore and registered dockworkers. Any breach of this attracts shutting down of the nation sea ports without further notice.”