Mkpoikana Udoma 11 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has warned that it the federal government goes ahead with the planned privatization of the maritime sector, the union will ensure a total shut down of the nation’s seaports and harbours.
The National Deputy President General of MWUN, Comrade Douglas Eromobor, made this known after an executive meeting of the union in Port Harcourt.
Eromobor told newsmen that members of the union and the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport, and Corporation, SSACTAC, will stage a peaceful protest at all seaports and harbours across the country, tomorrowTuesday 11th July 2017, to warn the federal government that they are against the planned privatisation of the nation’s seaports.
He said the protest is expected to send a message to lawmakers at the National Assembly of what is to come if they should go ahead with the Ports and Harbours Bill.
“Today we have seen Nigeria Customs Services, saying that cartons and crates of ammunitions are entering Nigeria. If the ports and harbours are concessioned, the government is indirectly inviting civil war into the country and that is what we don’t want.
“The protest will start on Tuesday, from 6am to 6pm, which means that every port in Nigeria will be shut down, to tell the people that are making laws in the National Assembly to stop forthwith with the passage of the Ports and Harbours Bill, so that the country can have sense of direction.”
Also speaking, a representative of the the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport, and Corporation, SSACTAC, Maritme Branch, Comrade Agboola Shamsudeen Tunde, said the planned privatization of the nation’s seaports will lead to loss of jobs and increase unemployment rate in Nigeria.
Tunde also explained that maritime workers which are the critical stakeholders in the industry were not consulted or their opinions sought by lawmakers on the bill.
“The ports and harbours if it is handed over to private individuals means maritime workers will be causalized, which will not be good, especially for a government that had promised to create more employment but what they are coming now to give nigerians is unemployment, and we will not agree to it.
“The workers were not consulted and there is no reason why the government of the day will not invite critical stakeholders to participate in a strong decision of this nature.
“We are trying to pass a strong signal that we will not agree to it, and if the government insist, then we will shut down the entire ports in the country. We are only going to carry out a warning protest on tuesday.”