The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has pledged to ensure all outstanding payment owned tally clerks and on board security are paid before the expiration of their contract in December 15th to avert future threat of shutting down port operations.
It also said effort are in top gear to address the lingering conflicts between the Authority and the National Association of Stevedoring Companies (NASC) over who takes responsibility for payment of tally clerks and on –board security before the contract expiration.
Executive Director, Marine and Operations, NPA David Omonibeke stated this yesterday after a closed door meeting with the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transport, NASC, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and other stakeholders.
“As a confident port Authority, we are still keeping to our words that as the bills are been processed they are been paid and NPA will still do all it can within its reach to ensure that before the December 15th, most of this outstanding bill are processed and sorted out.
“The contracts they have will be expiring December 15th and government is making every effort to ensure that before the expiration of that contract, the right organization that will be responsible for such payment will be clearly stated.
“The objective of us having this meeting today is due to conflicts in some of our concession port areas where we have stevedoring operating in those areas and we have had the issues of payment and who is responsible and we felt we should bring all the industry player under one umbrella to discuss the issues as it pertains to stevedoring operations,” he said.
He said all concern parties have made their submissions which would soon be forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Transport.
“We asked people to make their input of the best way forward and they made submissions and the secretariat – the ministry of transport will look at all those submissions so that at the end of the day, we will come up with a position that will be beneficial to all,” he said.
Also speaking, President of NASC, Bolaji Sumola said NPA had only paid 40 percent out of the outstanding payment it owns tally clerks but express assurance that it will fulfil its promises before the December deadline.
He also maintained that NPA should be responsible for the payment of tally clerks as according to him, the payment is already inbuilt in the NPA tariff headings.
“Our position still remains that our payment is inbuilt and it is in the due already enjoyed by NPA so it is not out of place,” he said.
Earlier, representative of the Permanent Secretary FMOT, Director Maritime Services, Sanni Galandashi said the meeting which is at the instance of the Ministry, NPA and the National Association of Stevedoring Companies on the 22nd of May 2015 is expected to agree on the government agency to be responsible for the payment of the services rendered by tally clerks and on- board security and where funds for the payment would be generated.
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