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Maritime union attributes workers’ fatigue to bad roads

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Anthony Nted Emmanuel

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), has alleged that most of its members that work in Apapa ports are suffering from early morning fatigue, which is threatening their productivity due to the bad state of the roads in the corridor.The union lamented the loss of man-hours spent on the roads to either link or exit the nation’s seaports, thereby causing untold hardship to members.

“The challenges in the ports are seriously affecting our members because so many are being killed. There is a lot of fatigue. People close from work and before they get home it is already 12 midnight. Very early in the morning they are already in the office to risk being sacked because the operators don’t want to know. Our members are dying due to fatigue,” the immediate past President General, MWUN, Tony Nted, said.Nted said this in Lagos, during Nigeria’s 59th Independence anniversary, which also coincided with his birthday.

At the celebration, Nted, who bemoaned the present state of the Nigerian ports, argued that until the roads are fixed, vessels will continue to be diverted to neighbouring ports, while investors would shy away from investing in Nigeria.He said: “Yes, I am celebrating my birthday with Nigeria, but Nigeria has to run fast to catch up with me because the country is still very far compared to where I am. The truth is that the country is slow and something urgently needs to be done to avert the situation.

“A lot of our members are robbed on the bad roads and in traffic, government needs to do something. As a former president, I will keep advocating until the roads are fixed as quickly as possible, because that will avert the challenges we are facing on daily basis. There is prevalence of ‘one chance’ robbers and broad day robbers that attack our members on a daily basis. Operators are not happy; a vessel will spend close to two months in the ports accumulating demurrage due to bad roads. This is very bad for investors and that is why they are diverting their vessels.

“When I was still the President General of the MWUN, several meetings were held with the concerned ministries and heads, but no solutions up till now. I pray the Apapa road reconstruction does not become an abandoned project.”

Also marking his birthday anniversary on October 1 is the current President of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, who assessed the average Nigerian worker and the maritime sector at 59.He said: “Nigerian workers are the best you can see in the whole world. We are tolerant, patient, the minimum wage is nothing to write home about compared to the force put into the jobs, and we pray the government starts implementing. We will continue to pray so that the country will not fall into dungeon.”

He said that 59 years in the maritime sector have not been easy, coupled with the bad roads, which is affecting the economy as investors have relocated their offices from Apapa.

Adeyanju equally used the opportunity to announce that the severance package of tally clerks and onboard security men that had been lingered for two years have now been approved by the Ministry of Transportation for onward transmission to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).“For our union, our major challenge is the issue of the bad roads, if the investors are not there; it is going to affect the average worker – the dock workers, seafarers, and shipping businesses. If the roads are good the economy will boom,” Adeyanju said.“Anytime from now, the mode of payment would be announced to the tally clerks and onboard security men. Verifications have been made, and NPA knows the number of those to be paid


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