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Maritime workers begin strike Monday over sacked colleagues

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Maritime workers have embarked on an indefinite strike over the sacking of 500 employees of Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Ltd and Associated Maritime Services Ltd.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, which declared the industrial action, directed its members to shut down the eastern ports from Monday until the withdrawal of disengagement letters given to the affected workers by the two firms.

This was contained in a statement on Sunday, signed by the Secretary-General of MWUN, Mr Felix Akingboye, titled, ‘Maritime workers declare industrial unrest in the Eastern Ports over the sacking of members by INTELS Nigeria Ltd and Associated Maritime Services Ltd’.

The union said it was engaged in a negotiation with the firms on improved workers welfare when they summarily sacked the 500 workers on December 4, 2020.

It alleged that the companies contracted security personnel who allegedly assaulted the workers.

The statement said, “In the course of the negotiations that started about a week earlier, the union requested for a break to enable the union hold its National Executive Council meeting on Friday, 4 December 2020.

“To our greatest shock, while the union was holding its NEC, the two companies issued redundancy letters to over 500 of our members.

“We wrote to the two managements to withdraw the redundancy letters for us to resume negotiations in a peaceful and harmonious environment.

“They did not only refuse, but followed up the redundancy letters by locking out our members on Monday, December 7, 2020.”

“To further worsen the situation, they unleashed armed security operatives, including soldiers and policemen on the union members and inflicted various degrees of injuries on our members. Some of them are at present in hospitals receiving treatment,” MWUN stated.

It condemned the use of security operatives to deal with industrial relations issue where unarmed workers were allegedly brutalised and harassed.

“Consequently, the union has directed its members in the Eastern ports to down tools from Monday, December 14, 2020, and begin an indefinite industrial action pending when the management of INTELS and AMS withdraw the redundancy letters to our members and guarantee resumption of negotiations,” Akingboye said.

Maritime

NPA moves to decongest Apapa, begins electronic truck call-up

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The Nigerian Ports Authority says it has commenced an electronic call-up system of trucks entering the Lagos ports to address the truck congestion in Apapa.

A statement signed by the Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications at the NPA, Ibrahim Nasiru, said henceforth, management of truck movement and access to and from the Apapa and Tin-Can ports would be guided by ETO.

The statement read in part, “As part of efforts aimed at finding a permanent solution to the problem of truck congestion around Apapa and its environs, the authority is pleased to announce the commencement of ETO, the Electronic Truck call-up system designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa, Lagos.

“All trucks doing business at the ports will be required to park at the approved truck parks until they are called up into the port through the ETO application.

“The ETO application will be responsible for the scheduling, entry and exit of all trucks into the ports with effect from 27th February 2021.

“Therefore, all transporters, trucks owners and truck drivers will be required to download the ETO App from Google play store or sign up at http://eto.ttp.com.ng before the commencement date to enable them register accordingly.”

It also stated that empty containers would only be returned to the ports through the approved holding bays of shipping companies using the ETO Platform, adding that it remained the responsibility of the shipping company to move empty containers from their holding bay to the Port.

It called for the cooperation of transporters, truck drivers, cargo owners, clearing agents shipping companies and all port users in implementing the project.

It warned that non-compliance with the ETO and its guidelines would lead to denial of access into the ports, impounding of trucks and withdrawal of registration/operating licence.

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Maritime

Lagos renovates six jetties, builds ferry terminal.

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The Lagos State Government says it has commenced renovation work on six jetties across the metropolis along with construction of a ferry terminal in Badagry to meet current demand for water transportation in the state.

General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, Mr Damilola Emmanuel, disclosed this during an interview on the Lagos Traffic Radio to highlight some achievements of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration after 600 days in office.

According to the LASWA GM, Liverpool, Ebute Ero, Bayeku, Mile 2, Ijegun Egba, and Oke Ira-Nla Jetties are currently being renovated with an additional new terminal at Badagry, to cater for water transportation needs of the citizenry especially those in the coastal communities.

A statement by the Assistant Director of Public Affairs at the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Bolanle Ogunlola, quoted the LASWA boss as saying the state government had also commenced channelisation of water routes for boats to glide safely, adding that Ilaje Bariga and Ojo/Badagry channels were being dredged.

Emmanuel also explained that the agency would focus more on safety on the waterways through constant campaigns on the importance of life jackets, stressing that it was vital for survival in any emergency by keeping riders safely afloat for rescue.

He appealed to the citizenry to desist from dumping waste on the roads and bridges during traffic, noting that such filth coud destroy aquatic life, pollute the water and the environment.

Speaking further on the menace of water pollution, he affirmed that LASWA was working with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources to bring a lasting solution to the problem of illegal refuse dump and hygiene campaigns at coastal communities in the course of the year.

He said the Sanwo-Olu-led administration would work assiduously to achieve its vision of multi-modal transportation, especially in the water transport sector as a viable alternative.

Emmanuel said they were working to add seven new ferries to the existing 14.

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Maritime

Hadiza Bala-Usman reappointed NPA MD

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday announced the reappointment of Hadiza Bala-Usman as managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority for another five years.

The boards of the agency and that of the Transmission Company of Nigeria were also reconstituted.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed these in a statement titled “President Buhari re-appoints Hadiza Bala Usman as NPA MD, approves board members for NPA, TCN.”

According to the statement, members of the new TCN board will oversee the selection of a new Managing Director for the organisation.

It read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority for an additional five-year tenure.

“Also approved is the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Mr Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (from South-west zone) as Chairman.

“Other members of the board are Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu (South-East zone), Akinwunmi Ricketts (South-South zone), Ghazali Mohammed Mijinyawa (North-East zone), Mustapha Amin Dutse (North-West zone), and Abdulwahab Adesina (North-Central zone).

“The President has equally approved board members for the Transmission Company of Nigeria who will oversee the selection of a new Managing Director for the organisation.

They are Muhammad K. Ahmad, OON, (Chairman), Chief Henry Okolo, Imamudden Talba, Ambassador Usman Sarki, Ali Haruna, Engr. Simeone Atakulu, Zubaida Mahey Rasheed, Dr Mustapha Abiodun Akinkunmi, Engr. Oladele Amoda, and Dr Nkiru Balonwu.

Other members of the TCN Board are Representatives of Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Power, Bureau for Public Enterprise, FGN Power Company Limited, and Executive Management of TCN.

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