Apapa gridlock: Maritime workers union suspends 21-day ultimatum

FG gives IOCs two weeks to pay debt owed dockworkers 
Adewale Adeyanju


The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) said it has suspended its planned withdrawal of services from the seaports in Lagos over the notorious Apapa gridlock.

Recall that the union had issued a 21-day notice to the Federal and Lagos State governments to compel shipping companies to provide holding bays for their empty containers.

The union had warned that failure on the part of the appropriate government agencies to address their demand would result in industrial action.

But in a statement jointly signed by the President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and Secretary General, Felix Akingboye, in Lagos on Monday; the union said the notice was suspended after an intervention and a fruitful deliberation on the concerns of the union by the Federal Ministry of Works and representatives of the shipping companies.

The statement reads, “We are delighted to say that on Wednesday, 11th November 2020, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing represented by A.O Oye, Federal Controller of Works, Lagos met with the union and the representatives of the alleged shipping companies at its Tafawa Balewa, Lagos office to discuss and proffer solution (s) to the intractable gridlock on the Apapa- Oshod Expressway.

“The meeting was cordial and fruitful but noted the need to expand the same to include the representation of some key stakeholders like the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and terminal operators.

“Consequently, the meeting was adjourned and the Controller of Works and Housing, A.O Oye gave assurance of the presence of the representatives of the above-mentioned organizations/agencies at the next meeting which shall come up not later than the middle of December 2020.

“The union has in consideration of the foregoing suspended the 21 days notice issued to the government.”