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MWUN orders seaports shut Dec. 7 as trucks occupy Apapa-Oshodi expressway

By Adaku Onyenucheya
06 December 2020   |   4:28 am
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has directed its members nationwide to shut ports operations and begin a three-day warning strike from Monday, December 7, to protest the total take over of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway by heavy-duty trucks, which inflicts untold hardship on other road users.

Oshodi-Apapa-Expressway gridlock

• Calls On FG, NPA To Fix Access Roads To Ports

Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has directed its members nationwide to shut ports operations and begin a three-day warning strike from Monday, December 7, to protest the total take over of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway by heavy-duty trucks, which inflicts untold hardship on other road users.

The union said it is particularly disenchanted by the deplorable state of the access roads to Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, which have claimed several lives and caused incalculable man-hour loss among other dangers, as a result of unending gridlock.

The three-day warning strike is one of the resolutions reached by the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) at a meeting held in Lagos State. A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting by the union’s President-General and Secretary-General, Comrade Adeyanju Adewale and Felix Akingboye, among others, said: “The National Executive Council in-session wishes to draw the Federal Government’s attention, once again, to the deplorable state of the access roads to the Lagos seaports, and the dangers this pose to lives and properties.

“To avoid the continuous and unnecessary deaths, as well as loss of man-hour on the failed roads, the NEC in-session hereby calls on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to urgently fix the access roads and make them motorable. 

“The NEC in-session unanimously approves the Central Working Committee’s (CWC) recommendation that the union proceeds on a three-day warning strike to bring to the public space our disappointment over the total neglect of the access roads to Lagos ports by successive administrations, and the urgent need for government to repair the roads.”

Adewale said the three-day warning strike would be total.

“We cannot continue like this. From Second Rainbow to the ports in the last three weeks, it takes not less than five to seven hours to access the ports, depending on when you get trapped,” he said. “When you are leaving the ports, you spend even more hours to get to the same Second Rainbow. A lot of innocent lives have been lost. Hoodlums who rob and dispossess victims of their belongings have maimed many.

“At the end of the three-day warning strike, government’s response will determine our next line of action. On daily basis, our members suffer untold hardship going to work and returning home. Many of them do no get home until 12am or later. The same thing happens to other road users on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

“Many businesses have relocated from Apapa and its environs to neighbouring countries because of the failed access roads. The implications are huge to the Nigerian economy and employment creation. The government must address the condition of the roads and find a lasting solution to the gridlock.

“I wish to call on the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to hasten discussions with NPA, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and all shipping companies responsible for the perennial gridlock that has bedeviled Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem.”