By Victor Ahiuma-Young
MARITIME Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has raised an alarm over alleged increasing importation of arms and ammunition into the country through ports and called on the nationâ€™s security agencies to checkmate the activities of unscrupulous importers and shipping companies before they distabilise the nation.
President-General of MWUN, Comrade Anthony Nted, said in Lagos that in most cases, the unscrupulous importers and shipping companies do their nefarious activities mid-stream under the watchful eyes of some unpatriotic armed security personnel who provide them with security.
He said these unpatriotic Nigerians who were abusing the port concession were also carrying out their unwholesome activities through the private jetties and called on government,Â Management of Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, and security agencies to set up a task force to monitor the activities of importers and shipping companies.
Nted said these unpatriotic elements do not allow workers especially dockworkers who are empowered statutorily to lash and un-lash (load and off-load) to work in vessels being discharged midstream.
On the just celebrated May Day, Nted said there was nothing to really celebrate but to pray for better days ahead.
According to him, â€œshould we celebrate joblessness, power failure, insecurity, poor remuneration of workers that have been making sacrifices or mis-governance?â€
On the lingering dispute over unpaid benefits to Tally Clerk Pool and onboard security members of Dockworkers among others, he said the management of NPA asked for 28 days to settle the issues and said the the leadership of the union wants to NPA the benefit of doubt.
But I can tell you that the workers have endured for a very long time. I want to believe that the management of NPA will not disappoint this time. We have been trying very hard to calm the Dockworkers who have been very restive because of the plight of their colleagues in the Telly Clerk Pool and Onboard security.
We want to use this opportunity to call on the management of NPA to make all necessary arrangement to pay these workers their due because they have suffered a lot. We sincerely hope at the end of the day, NPA and other concerned will settle these issues to avoid industrial unrest.â€