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MWUN warns dockworkers against strike



  • As Spanish Ports is Hit by Nation-Wide Strike

Mr Adewale Adeyanju, the President-General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), has advised the new executives of dockworkers branch of the union to avoid indiscriminate work stoppage in the nation’s seaports.

Adeyanju, who gave this advice on Monday in Lagos, explained that it was only the union’s national executives, who could declare strike.

He said that the era of brigandage and illegal activities were over in the nation’s seaports.

The union leader recalled how unruly and violent dockworkers had been prior to the port concession of 2006 and acknowledged that a lot had been done to rejig the psyche of the present-day dockworkers.

The MWUN president warned that anyone caught in the web of such illegality in the ports would be dealt with, according to the union’s regulations.

Adeyanju, who is also the immediate past president of the branch for eight years said, the road is not as easy as you think, if you stop work because of money, you will see the wrath of the national executive.

“Do not put money first; If you work, money will come; there should be no making of money through illegal means,’’  he said.

Adeyanju warned the new leaders against cheating their members through the crooked method called ‘akube’.

“The era of ‘akube’ is gone, if you do that, I will deal with you. Now, you have the conditions of service,’’ Adeyanju said.

He also recalled that through the open door policy of his administration, conflicts which had the tendencies to spread, were nipped in the bud.

Adeyanju, who reviewed his achievements during his two terms, stated that Collective Bargaining Agreement, was signed with stevedoring companies, port operators and other stakeholders.

He said that the union had been able to engage reputable Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

“Comrades, life after retirement must be planned and organised from your active days at work.

“This is why we, as a union, keyed into the Federal Government’s plan on pension.

“Consequently, we negotiated and procured the services of a credible pension fund manager to manage the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of our members,’’ Adeyanju said.

The executives are: Ibrahim Ohize, President; Hakeem Lawal, Vice President, Lawal Mukaila and Joseph Odemene, emerged Treasurer and Auditor respectively.

Others are: Ida Lawal and Wait Havvy, as Trustees while Bolashade Ogunjobi, emerged as the Women Representative of the branch.

The executives are to oversee the affairs of the branch for the next four years.

In the meantime, Spanish dockworker unions have launched today a nation-wide strike across the country’s ports.

According to the representatives of the Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (Coordinadora), a Spanish dockworkers union, almost 100 percent of workers supported the strike.

The workers are demanding that companies keep their employees and maintain the same working-conditions after the implementation of the port-reform.

Until now, the workers were hired through local stevedoring societies known as Sociedad Anonima de Gestion de Estibadores Portuarios (SAGEP). However, the new law would enable ports to hire non-unionized dockworkers instead of the unionized ones, potentially resulting in massive layoffs.

During today’s press conference, the union representatives said that, in their opinion, the main culprit for the ongoing situation is the government that put the companies in a privileged position.

At the moment, all dockworkers have an indefinite contract with their companies. Nevertheless, under the new regime, the companies would be given a choice to decide whether to keep them as employees or not.

During the recent talks between the union and Anesco, port employers’ association, the latter could not guarantee the security of 100 percent of those jobs, which prompted the stevedores to go ahead with their strike plans for this week.

The country’s ports could suffer considerable drop in traffic as shipping companies divert their cargo elsewhere due to strikes. Port statistics show that the port of Algeciras, the busiest in Spain, experienced a drop of 5.98 per cent in traffic so far in 2017.

Last week, Danish shipping major Maersk Line said that its latest fleet addition, the 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk, would be omitting the port of Algeciras. Instead, the cargo would be discharged in Port Tangier for further connection to Algeciras.

Reacting to the announcement, the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) asked “that all IDC members be aware of ships that may be diverted from Spain, and to not work accept these ships in their ports.”

“IDC will heed the strike advisory and will remain alert- with their full attention- in order to follow new developments of the Spanish situation. We will alert our IDC members to any future developments.

IDC will continue to support dockworkers everywhere in their struggle, and iterates their steadfast commitment to Coordinadora, who has demonstrated- yet again- strength in unity,” IDC said.

“This dispute is representative of the worldwide attack on dockers and of union busting efforts dressed up as ‘progressive reform’. Port liberalisation of this kind is short sighted and damaging and we won’t accept it. We encourage all of our affiliates to take every action within the legal framework of their country to support Spanish dockers whenever requested by our Spanish brothers and sisters,” ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin said.

The latest round of strikes is planned to held on 5th, 7th and 9th of June for 12 hours. Further rounds of strikes are possible should there be a failure to reach a deal on the continuation of negotiations on the matter.

Additional report from World Maritime News


Osoba, Momodu, Others Shower Encomium On Olamiti, Emphasise Importance Of Mentoring 



 A former Governor of Ogun, Olusegun Osoba, and several others on Thursday in Ibadan showered encomiums on retired journalist Folu Olamiti for his impact in the Nigerian media space.

Osoba, who was Chairman of the public presentation of Olamiti’s book, “A Peep into the Past”, spoke highly of him and commended his ability to balance his religious, and work life.

“I want to thank all of you that were here today to honour a great man.

“Folu Olamiti is different. How he manages to be a good Christian and a very active member of the Anglican Communion, I don’t understand.

“This is because, for we journalists, Sunday is the most difficult day for us because there are no activities on Sundays and you must produce paper for Monday. How he manages to do that is extraordinary.

“I have a high regard and respect for him,” Osoba said.

In his remarks, the publisher of Ovation magazine, Mr Dele Momodu, noted that it was important to mentor others as exhibited by the author in the media space.

He said: “God has given him the grace of staying relevant and I am here to congratulate him and to offer my encouragement that when you are good you must encourage others.

“The reason our country sometimes can be the way it is is because we don’t encourage good people and Uncle Folu is a very good man. I want to thank him for mentoring me like he mentored so many people.

“It is not always easy but he is able to do it effortlessly.”

Also, an Ibadan High Chief, Chief Lekan Alabi who is the Maye Olubadan of Ibadanland, extolled the virtues of the author.

Alabi said he met Olamiti in 1973, a time when the journalism of that time reflected the level of people’s intelligence and physical appearance.

In his goodwill message, Mr. Yinka Fasuyi, a Chief in Ijesaland, eulogised Olamiti for sharing his life’s work and opinion with the public.

He urged media practitioners to be up and doing in fulfilling the ethos of their profession.

In his review of the book, Mr. Femi Adesina, a former media aide of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, said the 303-page 12-chapter book contained the author’s memoirs, articles, and reports.

He said the book unravelled insights into the life of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other dignitaries in Nigeria, as well as the lives of lowly people.

Adesina said the book contained essays by Olamiti on restructuring Nigeria, foreign issues, and Idanre land in Ondo State, as well as his days in the Nigerian Tribune newspapers and the ICPC.

“Are you proud of where you hail from? Do you contribute to its development? Let us all take a cue from Olamiti,” the former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity said.

While responding to the remarks, Olamiti not only appreciated all who made the book’s launching a reality but also all those who have supported him at one point or the other in life.

Mr. Folu Olamiti retired from the Tribune Group of Newspapers, after working for 32 years.

He was at the ICPC for 10 years and has now been working with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for the past eight years on media-related activities.

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Did You Say Happy Birthday To Oga?



It was encomiums all the way, for the Editor-in-Chief/ CEO of Leadtimes Africa Magazine, Dr Samuel Oga, on the occasion of his birthday midweek, with his elderly son, Master Godwin Chinedu Oga. 

For him, and his contributions, industry stakeholders continued to give God the glory.

Yesterday, Dr. Oga in a chat with the Maritime First said he was humbled by the unrestrained show of love.

“Kindly accept my humble gratitude and appreciation for all your prayers and commitment made at the occasion of my birthday celebration yesterday with my son, Master Godwin Oga,” he said in a message. 

Dr. Samuel Oga

“You indeed made the day a memorable one for us as a family. 

“We pray that things of joy will never cease from you and your family. As you took time to celebrate with us, we wish to say once again that at every time of your celebration, men and women will rejoice with you also”, he also said, adding that the management and staff of Leadtimes Africa Magazine is indeed, proud of the stakeholders’ “showers of love”

 Now, did you too say Happy Birthday to Oga?

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Deep Blue Project should secure Maritime Anchorage Areas – Omatseye



 A former President of the African Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ASAN), Mr. Temisan Omatseye, says the Deep Blue Project should be the security structure for anchorage areas in the Nigerian maritime domain.

Omatseye said this at the maiden Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) annual lecture on Wednesday in Lagos.

Anchorage is an area off the coast that is suitable for a ship to anchor.

The lecture had the theme: ‘Maritime Security: Emerging Threats and Actionable Steps.’

He said this would reduce the cost of shipping goods into the country.

According to him, every foreign shipping company pays $50,000 per vessel for security patrol boats at the anchorage, thereby increasing the cost of goods imported into the country.

*Mr. Temisan Omatseye

He explained that the Deep Blue Project could do the service free or at a much-subsidised rate since the former operator Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd. (OMSL) was accused of extorting shipping companies.

“We should stop playing politics with the shipping industry. There was a lacuna because of insecurity, hence the coming in of the OMSL to create a car park on the waterways, the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA).

“A joint venture was signed with the Navy for security and the Nigerian Ports Authority for space, so if the government wants to stop the SAA, it should be replaced,” he said.

Omatseye also called for the establishment of a Response Zone Transit Corridor, to create a partial transit corridor in key high-risk areas.

This, he said, would enable the country to be aware of vessels that were within the Nigerian maritime environment.

He listed some of the benefits of a secured anchorage as increased trade to Nigerian ports, revenue generation and to compliment the Deep Blue project.

Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Maiguwa, President, the Maritime Security Providers Association of Nigeria, stressed the need for a competent agency to man the anchorage.

Maiguwa also called for a proper framework that would help the country deal with maritime security threats.

The president, however, kicked against the Coast Guard which he described as a nomenclature.

Maiguwa added that he does not like the idea of the Coast Guard which he described as a nomenclature.

“If you look at it more specifically, we need to do a risk assessment because I have been involved in a lot of risk assessments.

“One needs to look at the parameters surrounding the routes and the water, the region of the area that has personal traffic. So, it doesn’t start and end with that portion being secured,” he said.

Maiguwa said that Nigeria needs to adopt the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.

“I have always said that the ISPS provides only minimal requirements. It then means there are a lot of issues. In fact, the ISPS on its own does not apply to all facilities.

“The ISPS is not an instrument conceived by the framework to deal with maritime security threats. It is not an instrument holistically to deal with terrorism.

“The framework is concerned that shipping will be used to launch terrorism attacks on the homeland and therefore it concentrated on the areas where foreign ships visit,” he said.

He, however, asked what happened to an adjacent facility that does not receive foreign vessels. What happens to our vessels that are actually outside the convention?

“Those were the risks to the environment. And I have said it and I will always emphasise that it is very important that we have a competent agency to man the anchorage,” he said.

The Deep Blue Project known as the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, is being championed by the Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Security Agency.

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