MARITIME Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, yesterday, in Lagos, called on the Federal Government to give one month grace to importers and owners of vehicles trapped at the border following the ban on import of vehicles through land borders.
At a media briefing, yesterday, the union threw its weight behind the ban, contending that it would be good for the nation’s ports and auto-industry.
President-General of the MWUN, Mr. Anthony Nted Emmanuel, also calledon the government to hold a stakeholders’ meeting with local auto-manufacturers, assembly plants among others, to identify and address challenges of local manufacturing of vehicles in the country. He stated: “We want to use this medium to commend the Federal Government on the recent ban on importation of cars through the land borders. We believe this policy will increase traffic in the port, create jobs and revenue for the government.
Implementation of the policy
“However, the union would like to appeal to the Federal Government to give a month’s grace to importers whose vehicles are trapped because of the policy to clear their vehicles. After the one month grace, the government should commence full implementation of the policy. In the same vein, we appeal to the Federal Government to have a stakeholders meeting with assembly plants and indigenous auto-manufacturing companies to identify and address the challenges of manufacturing of cars.”
Emmanuel lamented the difficulties in accessing foreign exchange by manufacturers and importers, urging government to address the issue urgently before it became too late.
He stated: “In recent times, importers and manufacturers have found it extremely difficult to access foreign exchange and even when it is available, the cost is outrageous. The negative effect amongst others include: massive loss of job, closure of industries/factories, relocation of companies including shipping to neighbouring countries which culminate into loss of revenue to the Federal Government and compound insecurity in the land.”
While appealeing to MWUN members to maintain peace and avoid unethical practices in the ports that could give the union a bad name, he lamented that some disgruntled members and non-card carrying members have been spreading malicious, fabricated, libellous and unfounded insinuations about the union and its leadership. The aim of these disgruntled elements is to create an impression of crisis in the Union where there is none.
“The Union recognizes every card-carrying member right, freedom of speech and association as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The same constitution provides the avenue for redress when the rights of individuals/organizations are infringed upon.”
The PG added that while he had taken legal steps to seek redress over some malicious petitions and publications against him, the union would also do the same.