Nigerian Maritime Workers Union threatens to close down Ports
LAGOS-The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has threatened to shut down the nation’s seaport if the Nigeria Port Authority [NPA] and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency [NIMASA] fail to address illegal activities by multinationals on the nation’s territorial waters.
President General of [MWUN] Comrade Anthony Nted Emmanuel made the threat at a fund raising event of late comrade Isa Ibrahim Salem in Lagos earlier today.
Nted vowed that if the maritime agencies do not ensure that Nigerian dockworkers and seafarers are gainfully employed at the ports, the the union will rise to the occasion and shut down the port.
He warned shipping companies and multinationals that ‘’any vessels that is coming into the country should come directly to the conventional ports and any vessels that do not come directly to the ports is going against the Ministry of Transport of the country which is a break of law’’.
He further stressed that ‘’any time that the we notice multinational discharging offshore and the Nigeria Port Authority and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency [NIMASA] do not address the issue of the illegalities we are going to shutdown the ports’’
The MWUN boss also lamented the activities of multinational companies saying that they have rendered most of the union members jobless. He added that the country is also losing huge revenues that ought to go into government’s coffers.
According to him, the illegalities on the nation’s coastline by the multinational has also made the Nigerian seafarers to run out of being gainfully employed adding that most of the problem in the industry is as a result of the shady deals conducted by shipping companies.
He called on the federal government to live up to their responsibilities otherwise the ports will alongside all operational activities will be shut down.
In his words, he said,’’the illegal activities have deprived dockworkers from performing their duty and also the Nigeria seafarers are suffering nobody is addressing the situation and as it is if the federal government do not meet up with their responsibility we are going to run a zig zag port which means we will close the port down and that is a promise’’.
‘’We are talking about unemployment ,the maritime industry is also talking about unemployment because vessels are not coming into the ports but what we are seeing in the industry is an eye-sore especially with the shipping companies on offshore ,whereby they offload midstream and run away is a big problem that needs urge attention by the federal government.’’ Nted lamented.