There are strong indications that at least half of the workers of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) would be forced into premature retirement by the new management.
An usually reliable source informed SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that there are plans by the new Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, to retire all those who have attained the age of 55 years or who have worked for up to 30 years in the organisation.
“We have about 4,000 staff and about half of them are 55 years and above or have worked for up to 30 years. It means up to 2,000 workers will be sacked,” the source, who serves in the personnel department, said on the condition of anonymity.
She also disclosed that at least 700 staff who will attain the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years length of service, will proceed on retirement in 2017.
It is not clear why the new NPA Managing Director wants to force about 2,000 of the workers – cutting across both junior and senior cadres – into premature retirement, but the source said, “I think it is to create room for their own people. They want to recruit their own people into NPA”.
She said, “The irony is that the federal government is begging the private sector not to retrench staff, yet they want to retrench. It is very funny. Is this the change we voted for?”
When contacted, President, NPA Branch of the Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transport and Corporation (SSACTAC), Comrade Benson Adegbeyeni, said the association would resist any move to force workers into premature retirement.
He said, “This cannot happen. You cannot say people who are 55 years and above should go. It is not possible. In five years’ time, NPA will be empty.
“I was bothering the last Managing Director on a succession plan, that NPA should employ but he didn’t listen. Now, if you ask these people to go and you are not employing, who will do the job?”
NPA General Manager Public Affairs, Captain Iheanacho Ebubeogu, could not be reached for comments.
It would be recalled that in 2006, NPA sacked about 14,000 of its 18,000 workers.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.