As the ports shutdown entered a third day, there are mounting concerns of possible congestion as vessels that have arrived the harbour have not been able to discharge cargo.
Investigations carried out at the Lagos Port Complex Thursday revealed that for two days running, not less than fifteen vessels laden with various commodities have remained trapped in the two seaports in Apapa and Tincan Island in Lagos.
Some of the items onboard are perishable items, while others are delicate commodities that needed to be cleared with dispatch to avoid them going bad.
Following the industrial action embarked upon by members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) over the refusal of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to pay them earned wages, operations in the sea ports nationwide were forced to close last Wednesday.
As a result of the failure of a truce the NPA hurriedly brokered yesterday to resolve issues involved in the dispute President – General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adeyanju Adewale, on Thursday said that workers would continue the indefinite strike until the International Oil Companies (IOCs) show reasonable commitment to pay outstanding debts owed stevedoring contractors. While addressing members of the union at the Lagos Ports Complex entrance gate, Adeyanju noted that the struggle would continue until victory was achieved.
The MWUN boss who had earlier toured Tin Can Island Port along with other branch executives, Thursday, however, lauded efforts made by the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman and for the solidarity support in ensuring that the IOCs pay all outstandings. He disclosed that another round of meeting was expected to hold at about 4pm, Thursday, assuring members of the union that the outcome of the interaction would determine if the strike would continue on Friday or not. He maintained that all other seaports nationwide had been shutdown. This action, he insisted, would continue until the multinationals did the needful.
Also addressing the gathering, President NPA Branch of the MWUN,Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli informed that the presidency was aware of what the shutdown had caused the nations economy, adding that the union will not bow to pressure from any quarters until justice is served. While recounting the outcome of Wednesday’s peace meeting with the NPA management, Mazeli commended the union’s boss for his resilience and commitment towards ensuring that members were paid all entitlements and benefits due to them. He called on members of the union to support the solidarity movement until the objective was achieved.
Similarly, President, Dockworkers Branch of MWUN, Comrade Tajudeen Ohize said that the union will not fold its hands when things are not done the right way after a very long period of agitation against the IOCs. According to him, “The multinationals cannot do such in other countries and we want to put a stop to all these anomalies once and for all”
Business & M aritime West Africa