The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has threatened to withdraw all its members from the seaports nationwide if the federal government does not carry out emergency fixes on all access roads to ports, especially the Apapa port.
The union also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to remove all trucks abandoned on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and make access roads to the country’s seaports motorable by Monday, February 5.
It said on Sunday that if the government failed to get rid of the trucks after seven days, its members would embark on a nationwide indefinite strike by Monday, February 5, while all ports operations would be shut from Tuesday, February 6.
These demands were contained in a statement signed by the President-General, MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, and Secretary-General, Felix Akingboye and made available to newsmen.
The statement read in part, “On May 14, 2017, the union issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to fix the access roads to the nation’s seaports, especially the Oshodi-Apapa dual carriageway that leads to Apapa and Tin-Can ports. Before the expiration of the ultimatum, the management of Nigerian Ports Authority met with us and pleaded that they were doing something to fix the roads, especially the Apapa and Tin-Can ports axis of the Oshodi-Apapa dual carriageway.
“We were assured that remedial works would be done on the road because it was not captured in the 2017 national budget. We decided to suspend our planned industrial action.”
The maritime workers, however, said that they waited and endured “harrowing experiences” on the access roads to the ports in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri, with the hope that the government would, at least, do a quick fix on the roads to make them motorable.
“Nine months after we suspended the ultimatum, the roads have completely deteriorated and in addition, have claimed several lives and property. In fact, we lost two of our members on the Oshodi-Apapa dual carriageway.
“The Oshodi-Apapa dual carriageway has completely failed and is not motorable. From the Berger Bridge, there are countless craters and potholes on the road. To worsen the already terrible situation, from Otto Wharf, the road has become a park and mechanic workshop for heavy-duty trucks parked and abandoned by drivers and owners in the last few months.”
“If by Monday, February 5, 2018, the trucks are not removed and the craters and potholes filled, the union will withdraw all its members from the ports nationwide until these two demands are met.”