Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has threatened to shut down the nation’s ports over illegal midstream operations of some multinationals and shipping companies undermining the nation’s economy and impoverishing Dockworkers.
President-General, MWUN, Comrade Tony Nted, who gave the warning at the launch of Dockworkers’ Welfare and Loan Scheme, lamented that these multinationals and shipping companies, had not only being undermining the nation’s economy, but also giving jobs meant for Dockworkers to foreigners.
According to him, what is being witnessed in the Maritime industry is unacceptable, saying, “A situation where some of the shipping companies bring vessels offshore without recourse to the stevedoring contractors appointed by the Federal Government to manage it must be stopped. They do these illegal activities to evade payment of custom duty, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, charges, stevedoring charges, and other charges related to ports operations.”
“We have written several petitions to the presidency, to the Minister of Transports and NPA to no avail over this illegal mid stream operations. They engage illegal and foreigners to do the work of registered Dockworkers who are now left idle.
There was a time we had a meeting with some of the multinationals, their argument was that the place they are operating is about 200 nautical miles. But the question we ask is, this so-called 200 nautical mile, is it within the Nigerian territorial water? If the answer is yes, which we know is yes, who are those working there, are they ghosts? If the place is too far for registered Dockworkers to work, those working there illegally, how did they get there,” he queried.