Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have moved against further privatisation of the remaining functions of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), and the body has vowed to resist the current threat by the Federal Government to privatise the harbour services, pilotage and towing services in the NPA.
The president the union, Mr Anthony Nted, who presented the position of the workers at the 3rd Quadrennial National Delegates Conference in Abuja, on Monday, said as a union, they would resist it, while calling on patriotic Nigerians to resist same: “Can we afford a repeat of such vicious circle of mass retrenchment and the negative consequences as experienced 10 years ago? Can we afford to ignore the serious national security implications of handing over harbour and pilotage services in Nigerian territorial water to private concern? We say no to the move and implore all patriotic Nigerians to resist same. As a union, we shall resist it,” the union president said.
He recalled that 10 years ago, the operational services of the NPA were concessioned to private operators, but the end result was rather negative than positive. He said: “The exercise rendered over 5,000 direct employees of NPA jobless; about 4,000 Dock workers were retrenched and over 3,000 employees of shipping companies, who had their operational base in the concessioned areas were declared redundant.
“In effect, over 12,000 Nigerians lost their source of regular livelihood. Many of these unfortunate Nigerians have since died of the attendant hardship; some have taken to crime, while some are still fighting for correct settlement of their terminal benefits even in the law courts… The current threat of privatisation of the harbour services, pilotage and towing services in NPA is in a very bad fate. Those fighting for this are doing so purely for selfish reasons,” Nted said.