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Maritime workers strike grounds 12,000 containers, NPA intervenes

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[FILE PHOTO] Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman

About 12,000 containers are currently trapped in the nation’s ports, as the strike action embarked upon by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) lingers.

The union had shut all seaports nationwide to due the failure of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country to pay the wages of the stevedoring workers since June last year.

When The Guardian visited the Lagos ports yesterday, the workers barricaded the entrance to the busiest seaport in Nigeria chanting No Retreat, No Surrender.

Men of the Nigeria Police Force were seen mounting the Apapa Port’s main gate, as the workers and importers solicitede Federal Government’s intervention.

From Apapa Ports Complex, to Tin Can Island Ports, business activities were shut down, while the situation was the same at Calabar and Warri in Cross River and Delta states.

General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Jato Adams, confirmed that management was meeting the union’s executive in the hope that the issues would be solved as soon as possible.

Also to douse tension, the NPA has stepped into the crisis between the MWUN and International Oil Companies (IOCs) over unpaid wages.

Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, who addressed the protesting workers, assured that the IOCs have scheduled a meeting to resolve the impasse.

Usman, who was represented by NPA Executive Director, Marine Operations, Dr. Sokente Davies, said the authority stood with the workers over their unpaid entitlements by the IOCs.

But President General of union, Adewale Adeyanju, said on telephone that the meeting has not yielded any positive result and as such the strike would continue.”

Meanwhile, the terminal operators have decried the loss of revenue emanating from the industrial action, urging the relevant authorities to intervene urgently.

Spokesman of Seaports Terminal Operators of Nigeria (STOAN), Bolaji Akinola, told The Guardian yesterday that cargo-handling operations at the terminals were already being halted nationwide.


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