The President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has lamented the growing insecurity in the country, saying that the nation is gradually drifting towards anarchy.
Adeyanju stated this in Lagos on Friday during the union’s delegates conference where he was re-elected for a second term following a unanimous decision by members of the union.
Adeyanju and other members of the executive were given another mandate, which will last for another four years unopposed.
Speaking on the state of the nation, the union leader called on the Federal Government to rejig the country’s security architecture with a view to curbing the incessant killings of innocent citizens, kidnapping and piracy among other vices before the situation spirals out of control. He said, “It is no gain saying that the security architecture in the country has broken down. The incessant killings of innocent citizens, kidnapping, robberies, raping, piracy, brigandage and all other vices, which have been the order of the day, must be brought to a stop now. There is an urgent need to reverse this trend before it spirals out of control.”
Adeyanju promised to consolidate on the achievements recorded by the union under his leadership in the past four years. He listed some of the achievements by the union to include improvement in workers welfare, sustenance of peace in the port, stoppage of the Ports & Harbours bill, payment of severance package to tally clerks and onboard security men and signing of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with port terminal operators.
Adeyanju commended the Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, for supporting the activities of the union and for seeing to the improvement of the welfare of dockworkers.
While lamenting the negative effect of the Apapa gridlock on the nation’s economy, Adeyanju called on the Federal government to find permanent solution to the situation, which he said has become a recurring decimal.
He also called on the government to commence payment of monthly pension to aged seafarers who were retired as a result of the liquidation of the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL). In her remarks, Haastrup, commended Adeyanju for sustaining the peace and industrial harmony in the port, saying that dockworkers in Nigerian ports are now reformed and no longer what they used to be.
She assured that seaport terminal operators under her leadership will always see to the welfare of dockworkers.
She said, “I am not surprised that you are returning unopposed because under your leadership, we have enjoyed peaceful coexistence between employer and the workers. The Nigerian dockworkers are reformed and it is because of the leadership. They are no longer violent. It is a thing of joy for me to be called mama dockworker. The Nigerian ports have really evolved.
“The work of dockworkers is very key to port operations. If you don’t have good dockworkers, you cannot have good ports. They are the bedrock of our operation. So for STOAN, we appreciate you because if you down tool, the entire operation of seaports nationwide will come to a standstill. We want to ensure that our dockworkers are well taken care of. There must be good working conditions for all dock workers in Nigeria.”
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage, Victor Ochei, expressed the agency’s commitment towards the training and retraining of dockworkers to acquire the relevant certifications which will enable them compete favourably with their foreign counterparts. Also speaking at the conference, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, said the congress remains committed to the welfare of Nigerian workers noting that the move by the Federal government to remove the national minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list will be resisted.