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Maritime Workers Union vows to shutdown Nigeria’s seaports

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has vowed to shut the nation’s seaports from Tuesday, 9 January, over the alleged continued refusal of International Oil Companies (IOCs) and stevedoring contractors to comply with extant laws.

In a statement signed on Wednesday by the Union’s Head of Media, John Ikemefuna, the President-General of the Union, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, said all jetties and oil and gas platforms would also be shut.

Adeyanju recalled that the Union had “written series of letters, press releases, issued ultimatums, marine notices; given by NIMASA and several ministerial orders to no avail.”

“All these were serially ignored by the management of NPA, the recent one dated June 13, 2023, with reference number MWUN/MD/NPA/SC/U/1.23, on duly signed communiqués spanning over three years. The Union is, however, using this medium to demand the total compliance of IOCs to the stevedoring regulations in line with the communiqués signed by all the relevant stakeholders in the sector.

“The NPA as a master stevedore and industry regulator is wholly saddled with the responsibility of granting operational licences to stevedoring companies to provide stevedoring services for designated IOCs in Nigeria. The NPA also must use its oversight and regulatory authority to ensure respect for law and regulations in the dealings of the IOCs that make use of the services of the stevedoring companies; and by extension, members of MWUN as workers in IOCs’ employ.  However, it’s saddening that the NPA has abdicated its sole responsibility by allowing the IOCs to run an unimaginable riot without control in the sector.

“As a responsible social partner and a Union which operates strictly in line with extant regulations, MWUN has since 2018 severally brought to the NPA’s attention the refusal of the IOCs to honour the provisions of the extant stevedoring regulations and the continued violation of the remittance of union’s Cheque-off dues in line with the extant stevedoring regulations.

“As a breach of the extant stevedoring laws stated, the MWUN will on the 9th Tuesday, 2024 shut down the seaports nationwide after the expiration of the three work days already given to NPA commencing from the 4th of January, 2024,” the MWUN said.

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