On Monday, laborers in the maritime industry issued a warning about the possibility of a countrywide walkout in the event that the Federal Government proceeds with the automatic withdrawal of 50% of revenue paid to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
In a joint statement from the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) in Lagos, they made the threat.
The two unions, Mr. Akinola Bodunde, President SASCGOC, and Mr. Adewale Adeyanju, President General, MWUN, signed the statement stating that the union had addressed a letter to the President about the development.
The unions threatened to withdraw their members and shut down all ports around the country if the decision was not reversed.
Rather than a 50% deduction from NPA’s revenue, both unions demanded a 30% deduction.
According to the unions, “the authority will become financially unable to fulfill these responsibilities to the host community if 50% of its internally generated revenue is automatically withheld, which may force them to engage in unhealthy activities.”
“We suggest automatically deducting thirty percent of the Authority’s internal revenue, leaving seventy percent for the Authority to fulfill its statutory obligations and overhead costs. If this isn’t done, the Union will be forced to remove its members’ services from all Ports formations across the country.”
Speaking on behalf of the union, SASCGOC President Mr. Akinola Bodunde emphasized the dire financial consequences of such a deduction on the NPA’s operational capacity.
Bodunde clarified that a 50% cut would have an impact on the NPA’s operational capacity because it is a self-funded organization that depends on its IGR.
He claimed that the decline in income may imperil vital marine functions including port channel dredging and infrastructure upkeep, which would ultimately impact vessel traffic and port operations.
He clarified that the possible repercussions of the suggested deduction constitute a threat to community relations and workforce development.
Adeyanju voiced worries that funding for staff welfare and training may be hampered by the revenue decline.
According to him, the union is concerned about the NPA’s capacity to fulfill its commitments to host communities, which could be jeopardized and could spark civil unrest.
Subsequently, the president of MWUN sent a demand letter to the government, requesting that the directive be changed to permit a more reasonable deduction from internally generated money. (NAN)