Union blames Apapa gridlock for failing businesses 

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju

 

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has decried the dilapidated state of Apapa road in Lagos.

It said businesses within Apapa were being forced as a result, to relocate to neighbouring countries.

The President-General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, made the disclosure on Monday at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union in Lagos.

Adeyanju said that the poor state of the roads was hampering activities at the ports, forcing businesses to close shops with the resultant loss of jobs.

The road from Apapa to the ports have been in severe dilapidation for more than 10 years, causing gridlocks and accidents on daily basis.

He added that workers were being sacked daily in shipping companies and that Stevedoring contractors were also being disengaged.

“About 2,000 to 3,000 tally clerks and on board security personnel, who are an integral part of dock labour operations have been sacked.

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“This is because the services of their employers have been terminated by the Nigerian Ports Authority,’’ he said.

Adeyanju recalled that in 2017, the Federal Government signed a communiqué with stakeholders after a 21-day ultimatum and a day warning strike by MWUN to repair the roads before the last quarter of 2018.

He said, “The Ijora/Apapa Wharf highway has been partially fixed but the Tin-Can Island area remains unattended to. This is not acceptable.

“The NEC of the union will take a decision on the next line of action after its meeting.”

On the Cabotage law, he urged government, through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to ensure that foreign-owned vessels complied with the cabotage law on Nigeria’s territorial waters.

He said that compliance with the cabotage law would create jobs for indigenous seafarers.

Adeyanju also advised government to resuscitate the Nigerian National Shipping Line as well as pay the monthly pension of seafarers, who were retired as a result of the liquidation of the shipping line.

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The Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, in a solidarity message, commended maritime workers for maintaining cordial relationships with their employers to sustain industrial harmony.

Peterside, represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril, Director, Labour Services in NIMASA, said that the agency had trained about 3,000 people, including seafarers, dockworkers and cadets in different areas to boost their services.

He promised that NIMASA would continue to ensure that the country’s waters are safe for its operation.