Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Maritime workers begin strike Tuesday


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Workers in the Maritime sector are set to embark on nationwide protests on Tuesday in protest to some sections of the Ports and Harbour Bill, currently before the members of the National Assembly for passage.

The workers’ main disagreement in the proposed bill was premised on the seeming job losses.

A source close to the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, said on Sunday in Lagos that protests would take place simultaneously in all seaports across the country.

The source said that the union observed inherent dangers in the bill, which was recently passed by the Senate.

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He said that the protests were being jointly organised by the MWUN and the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations, SSACTAC, Maritime Branch.

According to the source, the decision to embark on the mass protest was because there had been no response from the National Assembly since the two unions wrote a letter opposing some sections the Ports and Harbour Bill.

The Ports and Harbour Authority Bill which seeks to repeal the Nigerian Ports Authority Act, 1955 as amended, has been passed by the Senate and is awaiting concurrent passage by the House of Representatives.

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The MWUN had earlier petitioned the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, saying that the bill would lead to massive job losses for NPA workers.

The union also pointed out several economic and security implications of the bill, if passed.

Secretary-General of MWUN, Felix Akingboye, also confirmed the imminent protests, but refused to give details.

“We are mobilising our members in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onne, Warri and Calabar, for the demonstration.

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“The protests will hold simultaneously in all the ports from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday,’’ Akingboye said.

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“We are opposed to any attempt to further strip Nigerians of their rights through further concession in the guise of amending the NPA Act, 1955 as amended,” he said.

According to him, the promoters of the bill are only after their personal interests and this is to concession the harbour operations of NPA to private individuals.

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