22 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos —THE President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju has appealed to the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to look into the plight of dockworkers that have consistently been disallowed from working at private jetties.
Adeyanju told journalists on Friday in Lagos that apart from non-engagement of dockworkers, the level of security at these jetties was nothing to write home about.
The MWNU President General was reacting to the recent commissioning of the new labour call-house in Delta Port, Warri by the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Hadiza Bala Usman.
Tthe NPA, National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, are empowered to license and monitor private jetties in the country.
But, while commending the NPA boss for the commissioning, Comrade Adeyanju told journalists that it was high time NPA looked into the activities of the private jetty operators.
According to him, the owners have deliberately closed the jetties to dockworkers, thereby denying them of employment. “We are requesting that the activities of the private jetties be looked into, with a view to providing for the participation of dockworkers in private jetty operations,” he pleaded.
Describing the commissioning of the labour call house at Delta ports as very important and commendable, Comrade Adeyanju acknowledged the joint funding by both the NPA and terminal operators for the actualization of the project. He specifically thanked the NPA managing director for “the good work she has been doing since she assumed office the Managing Director”.
He also pleaded with both the NPA and terminal operators to replicate the Delta Ports Labour Call House project at all ports in Nigeria.
Adeyanju also noted that since dockworkers are not engaged at the private jetties, their owners could use them as avenues through which questionable items (including arms) could be shipped into the country.
He also called for improved security at private jetties operating in the country, which he said has become an avenue through which weapons are smuggled illegally into the country.
Stakeholders have in the past criticized some private jetties for allegedly contravening the law that established them by engaging unregistered dockworkers. They alleged that the jetty owners do that to cut the cost of doing business in their domain.
Besides, investigation revealed that illegal and unregulated cargo discharge procedures of vessels that berth in the Nigerian waters are flourishing in the private jetties
On the labour call office, Comrade Adeyanju noted that it is one the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation, adding that it will benefit both the terminal operators and the dockworkers.