Health and Safety Maritime

NPA: Hadiza reiterates Commitment to host communities, renovates school

NPA inaugurates Calabar Port emergency response team, over soaring insecurity
Written by Maritime First

…As JOHESU issues 7 days ultimatum, over Government’s poor Commitment***

The Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman on Monday reiterated the Authority’s Commitment to its host communities, stressing management determination to maintain an atmosphere of peace, synergy and collaboration.

Hadiza Usman indicated this during the commissioning of a newly renovated school hall at the Government Secondary School Adiabo, near Calabar, Cross River.

“We at NPA wish to reiterate our determination to further reinvigorate peace, synergy and collaboration with host communities of our Ports.

“This is with the view to assisting the Federal Government realise the objectives of its policy of Ease of Doing Business in our Ports in line with international best practices,” Hadiza who was represented by, Engr Adams Jatto, NPA General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications said, adding that the Authority would continue to assist its host communities and the less privileged in areas that could impact positively on their lives.

Speaking on behalf of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu community council in Odukpani Local Government Area,  the council Secretary, Mr Okon Edet, commended the NPA for the gesture.

He also commended the efforts of the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Abasi Otu, and the Calabar Ports Manager, Mrs Olufunmilayo Olotu, in ensuring the realisation of the project.

Edet further urged the school authority to ensure proper utilisation and maintenance of the hall to serve its purpose.

“It is now the concern of the school authority to ensure that students are well counseled on the need to safeguard these property while we as community leaders shall maintain strict surveillance approach to halt intruders from encroachment,” he said.

The Principal of the school, Mr Charles Asuquo, thanked the management of NPA for providing the facility, adding that it would go a long way in bringing students and teachers together.

“A befitting assembly hall is, therefore, not only necessary but pertinent to the school’s corporate existence,” he said.

Meanwhile, the representative of the Managing Director also commissioned several in-house projects executed by the Calabar Ports.

The projects included an e-library, conference hall and a training center inside the administrative block, initiated by the management of Calabar Port. 

In the meantime, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) on Monday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet its demands or face another round of strike action. 

Mr Josiah Biobelemoye, the National Chairman of the union, said this at a warning rally organised by the union in collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), among other stakeholders, to drive home the challenges bedeviling the health sector in Abuja.
Biobelemoye noted that the seven days ultimatum, effective from February 4, was given due to the intervention of clerics and their love for the Nigerian populace.

“We decided to seek God’s intervention by reporting our offenders to him. Last Friday we attended the Juma’at Prayers while on Sunday we attended Church Service.

“Fortunately and unfortunately, we met the Minister of Health in the church where we worship and the Overseer told him that he is in a better position to resolve this matter and allow the populace to receive better health.

“The cleric further pleaded with us to exercise some patience, hence we decided to give the seven days ultimatum after which we will report to the NLC that decided to take over the matter,” Biobelemoye noted.
The chairman listed the demands of the union as unjustified withholding of the salaries of its members for April and May last year, upward adjustment of CONHESS Salary Structure and headship of hospital departments.
Others, according to him, are implementation of consultancy cadre for JOHESU members and punitive actions against its members at Federal Medical Centre Owerri and Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).

He specifically noted that these demands were outside the ones under the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Biobelemoye added that the rally was basically informed due to the violation of the May 30 Court Order by the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to him, the court ordered the union to suspend the action and also said no party should do anything that will jeopardise the peace in places of work.

“While we are in the ARD discussing, the Federal Ministry of Health decided to indiscriminately implement no-work-no-pay after the court has said no one should do anything to provoke the other.

“We refused to take action for over seven months that they violated the court’s order because we are mindful of the fact that every strike affects the common man negatively.

“We know that public health institutions are the cheapest for the Nigerian populace so we were reluctant of embark on strike for over seven months.

“We have used the means of dialogue to impress it on the federal ministry of health and its management that they are violating a court order but to no avail.

“We use this medium to tell Nigerians that have opportunity of interacting with those in authority specifically the minister of health to do the needful,” he said.

Earlier, the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Waba, said he would map out actions to ensure the demand of over 90 per cent of the health work force was met.

Waba further noted that it would work out modalities to compel the minister of health to respect the collective agreement reached with the union.

He specifically quoted the National Industrial Court judgment as stipulating that no health worker should be denied of skipping, arrears and salary adjustment, among others.

According to him, instead of obeying that judgment by paying the over 90 per cent workers their dues, the minister paid the medical doctors, which is unfair and unjust.

“We will mobilise Nigerian workers to battle, collective bargaining agreement must be respected. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands,” Waba said. 

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