maritime barge operators unit
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has taken over no fewer than 22 jetties in Lagos while inaugurating a new unit, Maritime Barge Operators Unit, MBOU, to harness the potential of the emerging barge business on the nation’s waters.
The jetties are located around Festac, Apapa, Ido and Lekki areas including those situated within the port areas.
While inaugurating no fewer than 70 operators split into two; Maritime Barge Operators Unit, MBOU 1 and MBOU 2, President General of MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, said barge operations has come to stay in Nigeria.
He commended the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for the revitalization of rail networks across Nigeria and ongoing efforts at Nigerian ports.
According to him, “barge operations cannot go into extinction because Nigerians have tasted it. Just like the rail network that is now fully operational, barge operations have come to stay.”
Prince Adeyanju said the barge operations fell directly under the jurisdiction of the union, in line with Rule 2 of its constitution under the Trade Union Amendment Decree 4 of 1999.
Addressing members of the union under the new unit, the President General said the four branches of the union all had a stake in the emerging unit, due to their mode of operation.
He stated: “Lack of sincerity is what usually brings problem, our organogram speaks for itself. If the Chairman is not around, the Vice Chairman can act on his behalf. They must always report all issues to their district chairman close to them and should not take laws into their hands”
“Money is the root of all evil, therefore, do not put the interest of what you are going to gain now as your overall priority, but put the interest of the people you are going to serve and the interest of the nation in mind”, he admonished the new entrants.
On his part, Deputy President General, Tonye Harry, who is Chairman of the Inauguration Committee, said the Committee was set up three weeks ago to look into the affairs of the maritime barge operators.
According to him, “Within this time, we have held several meetings with the operators and we have agreed with them that there should be maritime barge operating unit. This action is in tandem with Rule 2 of our constitution which says one of the aims and objectives of the union is to secure and unionise eligible waters within the jurisdictional scope of MWUN as stipulated by the Trade Union Amendment Decree 4 of 1999”
“For now, 22 jetties within the Lagos axis are viable, and the catchment areas are about fourteen, and these are all located between Festac, Apapa, Ido and Lekki area, not counting those jetties situated within the port axis. The operators are about 70 in number and this means we can unionise them, and they can for now form two units for them to commence operations pending when we have a district for them.”