Maritime workers task FG on rehabilitation of ports
Organised Labour has cautioned that federal government’s new economic recovery plan may just be another wild goose chase if nation’s port were not rehabilitated and critical infrastructure fixed urgently.
This assertion was made as stakeholders in the maritime sector praised the outgoing President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Anthony Nted for the enduring peace and industrial harmony that prevailed in the industry during his tenure.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba, who spoke at the send forth ceremony organised by MWUN for Nted at the weekend lamented the poor state of roads and other infrastructure at the ports, which he said, may have been responsible for the high cost of clearing goods in the country.
“Maritime plays important role in the economy because the port is the gateway for investment inflows into the country. Why for instance, would people want to clear goods through other West Africa countries? This is because our cost is high. For example, freighting from Geneva cost 1000 CF to Nigeria as against 600 CF to other West African countries, he said.
He noted that the problems of Nigeria were systemic and charged the federal government to find a way of addressing the bottlenecks on the roads to the nation’s ports. His words: Why is it difficult to fix our roads after so many years? The problems of Nigeria are systemic. What works in other countries do not work here. In Ethiopia, the government runs the airline and it works. It is not a matter of whether the enterprise is private or public. Here we lack prudence, accountability and trust.”
Speaking, Nted stated that the federal government had failed the maritime sector of the economy, adding that “People lose their lives everyday due to the bad roads leading to the ports. It is the road to the nation’s economy. Clearance in the port is stagnating as a result of the bad roads.”
He urged government to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and create jobs, adding that those in the position of leadership should stop playing on people’s intelligence by missing politics with business.
Chairman of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Vicky Haastrup , who was also chairperson of the event commended Nted for the unprecedented peace and progress he brought to the maritime sector.
President General of MWUN, Adeyanju Adewale said the event was the first in the history of the union as a mark of recognition of Nted’s exemplary character and philanthropy.