MWUN vows to shutdown nation’s seaports over IOC’s non-compliance to extant laws

MWUN boss, Comrade Adeyanju

Story by Sylva Emeka-Okereke, JP, Publisher 

Uneasy calm once again, pervades the nation’s seaports, as the apex workers union, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has vowed to shutdown all port facilities on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, over non-compliance of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Stevedoring Contractors to Stevedoring extant laws.

The leadership of the Union under Comrade Adeyanju Adewale said, if nothing is done to remedy the situation before the given date, they would close down seaports, jetties, and oil, as well as gas platforms nationwide 

The Union recalled that its leadership had written series of letters, press releases, ultimatums, marine notices to NIMASA, even as  several ministerial orders were serially ignored by the management of the NPA”, disclosing that the recent one was written on June 13, 2023 with Ref. No. MWUN/MD/NPA/SC/U/1.23, along with duly-signed communiques spanning over three years.

“The Union is, however, using this medium to demand for total compliance of IOC’s to stevedoring regulations in line with the communiques signed by all relevant stakeholders in the sector”.

In a press statement signed by the Head of Media, MWUN, Comrade John Kennedy Ikemefuna, it was noted that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), as master stevedore and industry regulator is saddled with the responsibility of granting operational licences to stevedoring companies and also provides stevedoring services for designated IOCs in Nigeria. According to the statement, the NPA also has the duty to use its oversight and regulatory authorities to ensure compliance to law and regulations by the IOCs, who make use of the services of the stevedoring companies and by extension, Members of the MWUN working in the IOCs.

The Union however noted with sadness that the NPA has abdicated its sole responsibilities by allowing the IOCs to operate in the sector without adequate control.

“As a responsible social partner and a Union, which operates strictly in line with extant regulations, MWUN has since 2018, drew the attention of the NPA to the refusal of the IOCs to honour laid-down extant stevedoring regulations”, the statement noted. 

This is in addition to violating the remittances of the Union’s Check-off dues with impunity.

“As a bridge of the extant stevedoring laws stated, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, will on the 9th Tuesday, 2024 shutdown the seaports nationwide, after the expiration of the three (3) working days already given to NPA, starting from January 4, 2024”, the statement added.

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