By VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
MARITIME Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has lambasted Ports’ operators for allegedly being insensitive to wellbeing of workers in the sector.
At a pre-retirement seminar for over 1500 members in port formations in Lagos, President-General of MWUN, Comrade Tony Nted, said the union would remain steadfast in its resolve to ensure that port workers benefits and rights did not elude them.
The life after retirement seminar held at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, was with theme :”Managing New Beginning :Personal Retirement Planning.”
Comrade Nted, said the seminar was put together to enable the workers learn fresh insights and strategies for life- after-retirement, explaining that the economic situation in the country made it imperative for workers, especially those about to retire from active service, to begin in time, to design their after-retirement business plans to enable them also become better entrepreneurs.
The President-General who noted that the union would organize similar workshops in other parts of the country, particularly in Warri, Onne, Calabar and Port Harcourt, lamented that most employers and industry regulatory bodies approached to support the project refused to key into it and vowed that the union would continue to build capacity of members with limited available resources at its disposal.
According to him, “This seminar holding today is the best thing to happen to maritime workers. In the last three years, we have trained no fewer than 5, 000 workers who belong to this great union. And it is a trend we intend to continue for a long time. Our goal is to ensure that our members live an active retirement life when the leave the service.
The tendency is for most workers to emphasize Christmas bonus, promotions and possibly their gratuity and pension. These are good. But when they leave the service, they will no longer be getting salaries. This is the time to think about their future.”
Speaking also at the occasion, the Guest speaker of the seminar, Professor David Ugwu remarked that less than 20 per cent of Nigerians retired happily just as most Nigerians who had retirement plans, started too late. He noted that 60 per cent of Nigerian workers thought retirement benefits and pension would see them through, stressing that “this is wrong.”
Noting that unplanned retirement quickens the aging process, he argued that people with retirement plans lived longer and were less susceptible to heart attacks after retirement.