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NPA approves payment for disengaged dockworkers

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A container stacking area in Tin Can Island Port, Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

• Process stalled by poor documentation
Succour appears underway for the sacked Tally Clerks and On-board ship Gangway Security of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), as the management has commenced payment of their severance packages.

However, some of the beneficiaries went back home disappointed on Monday, as poor documentation by their company stalled the process of payment.

General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Jatto Adams, confirmed to The Guardian that NPA is ready to pay, but the company that employed them failed to provide proper documentation and evidences such as identity cards and account numbers, among others.

“What happened was that they could not provide us with the necessary clearance such as identity cards, and account numbers. That is what is holding it. The money is actually there, so what we want to do is for the company to provide those documents and get paid.

“Its actually the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) that employed the company, so we have asked the company get us their documents because we cant just pay without evidence. They have promised to provide the documents and account numbers. If they bring it today, will pay today, but there is public holiday, so we are ready to after holiday.”

Adams said that NPA assured that nobody would be short-changed in the process, as the Authority is also working with the Maritime Workers’ Union (MWUN), to ensure a smooth and hitch free process.

Some of the beneficiaries, who spoke with The Guardian, expressed their gratitude to the Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, for fulfilling her promise.

President General, MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, expressed appreciation to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, as well as Bala Usman for their unrelenting efforts in ensuring the workers are paid.

He informed that payment in the Lagos Area commenced on Monday, December 23rd, at the NPA Sports Ground, Bode Thomas, Surulere.

Adeyanju said: “We wish to inform the public that at the long last, severance package will be paid to the Tally Clerks and On-board ship Gangway Security men who were disengaged from service in year 2015.

“It will be recalled that as a fall out of the port reform exercise, the services of these category of workers were found not necessary hence they were disengaged from service (In 2015) and they have since remained unpaid of severance package.

“Following their several agitation; and protests for payment of severance package which were usually accompanied with tension in all the seaports, management of NPA constituted a verification committee whose membership was drawn from the authority, the stevedoring companies and the Union to ascertain who are due for payment of severance package.”

“The committee carried out its assignment in all the seaports between 17th aand-28th December 2018, and later submitted its report to NPA.

“We are happy to say that on 5th September, 2019, approval for payment was granted by the Federal Ministry of Transportation vide letter FMT/O160/S.166/11/521 and after several meetings with the Management of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) payment. The Lagos Area has been scheduled to commence on Monday, 23rd December, 2019, at the NPA Sports Ground, Bode Thomas, Surulere.”


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