- As Customs officers’ demand better salaries
The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have signed a National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) agreement for dockworkers.
The agreement was signed last week at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.
Speaking during the signing of the agreement, the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services of NIMASA, Gambo Ahmed, “There is the need for understanding between the workers and employers in the industry, most especially during this period of economic recession where everyone needs to be accommodating”.
Ahmed is also the Chairman of the NJIC.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Seaport Terminals Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup commended NIMASA for midwifing the processes that ensure will ensure peace and harmony amongst stakeholders at the ports.
She said, “Nigeria has never had it so good, the atmosphere in and around the ports has made it so conducive for everyone to carry out his or her business and this is because NIMASA has always brought the issues of welfare of dockworkers to the front burner”.
MWUN President-General, Comrade Anthony Nted said stakeholders should be commended for the harmonious working relationship between terminal operators and workers in the ports, stating that MWUN is willing to abide by the signed agreement.
The event was concluded with the presentation of a new Toyota Hiace bus to MWUN by NIMASA.
While handing over the bus to the Union, Ahmed urged the leadership to impress on its members to be law abiding and assured them of government’s unflinching support in ensuring fairness in the industry.
The signed agreement, which is for a period of two years, is intended to ensure industrial peace in the maritime sector as it encompasses fair treatment of dockworkers.
In the meantime, some Customs officers have again called on the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali to enhance their monthly salaries and improve their welfare package to boost productivity.
The officers made the call in reaction to the recent figure released by the Service as overall revenue generated last year.
The NCS through its spokesman, Joseph Attah had said the Service generated the sum of N898billion last year.
One of the officers, Samuel Affiku who shared his post on the Customs facebook page said that given the NCS performance in the area of revenue generation last year, the Customs CG should also review and improve officers’ welfare.
According to him, the agency is the worst paying among uniform organizations, and revenue generating agencies in the country.
“The Customs management should please do something about the issue of our welfare.
“I read that we generated N898 billion last year yet officers are hungry. Even the Civil Defence Corp that are not generating anything are well paid and their allowances paid. Why Customs?” he quizzed.
Another officer simply identified as Umar Batagara commented: “I hope this effort will touch the mind of Mr. President and the legislative members to stop Customs officers’ perennial and undeserved maltreatment such as welfare and salary and good condition of Service.”
A senior Customs officer at the Apapa Customs command who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY on the issue expressed disappointment over officers’ condition of service under the present Customs leadership headed by Hammed Ali.
He said apart from the issue of welfare, the management no longer grants approval for administrative costs incurred by officers in the course of doing their work. These, he said, include electricity bill and other logistics.
Another officer who said he did not want his name in print said the Customs management does not show they are interested in the welfare of officers especially those posted to border areas to patrol the creeks.
He said despite the meager monthly take home pay, some of them while on official patrol are still required to maintain and fuel their patrol.
“The CG promised to increase our welfare when he came in but till today nothing has happened. There is supposed to be money for maintenance of vehicles but we use our money to fuel and maintain our patrol vehicles while on official patrol. This is where the name corruption comes in.
“When your salary is not enough to cater for you and your family, you have to go extra miles to see how you will squeeze out money somewhere.
“How would you remit the money that you are supposed to remit to the federal government when you are not getting enough?” he asked.
Ships & Ports