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NPA has fully settled 2008 Disengaged Workers- Hadiza

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Deja vu! Amaechi creates 11-man probe panel for Hadiza, as stakeholders debate fairness

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Thursday told embattled 2008 Disengaged Workers that the organization was not prepared to go into further discussion over unsettled benefits, stressing that negotiations ended with the payment of ₦753,731,001.24

“The issues raised about Pension, Gratuity and Repatriation have been addressed and final figures for payment to 2008 disengaged employees as agreed to the tune of ₦753,731,001.24 for the final list of 517”, the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman said, in a statement made available to the Maritime First by the Assistant General Manager,  Corporate & Strategic Communications, Mr. I.S. Nasiru.

The NPA Boss debunked allegations of deliberate refusal to pay miscellaneous benefits in full to the over 500 agrieved ex-workers, and frowned at media reports which attempted to label the authority’s position as outright insensitivity.

“Therefore, management wishes to state categorically and unequivocally that the information is capable of derailing the company’s responsibilities to deliver corporate service to its large public”, the statement indicated, noting that the May, 2008 rationalization was carried out based on the provision of the Public Service Reform guidelines.

“However, the process of concluding this exercise led to delay in the implementation of the monetization policy of the Federal Government. Therefore, to comply with the preconditions, implementation of the policy commenced 1stJuly, 2008 after the May 2008 rationalization exercise.

“Agitation from the two house unions for payment of arrears on monetization based on the January approval date, resulted in the agreement to pay arrears of three months to all existing employees from April to June, 2008 hence the two months’ arrears which was paid to them after their exit.

She indicated further:  “In compliance with the directives of the Federal Government in the public service guidelines, those affected by the rationalization exercise were not entitled to the monetization and enhanced staff allowances as it was a precondition before implementation of the scheme thus the two months of monetization arrears paid to them was regarded as an error made and accepted in good faith.

” Entitlement paid to them are as listed below:

*Three (3) months’ salary in lieu based on their salaries at the time of disengagement

*Gratuity calculated in line with their salary at the date of exit, May 31st, 2008.

* 10% pension & gratuity as compensation due to reorganization was paid to them as provided for in the Pension Act (Decree 102 of 1979)

*Pension Contribution remittance to their RSA

* Accrued pension right remitted to their PFA/RSA using the Alexander Forbes actuarial valuation as at 31st May, 2008. The approved template by the Bureau of Public Service Reform and Federal Ministry of Transport was used for their payment.

*Repatriation allowance was paid to them based on the components of the template from the Bureau of Public Service Reform Guidelines.

Also read:  NPA: Adesoye, Hadiza celebrates how Port activities boost Warri fortunes

“Giving the foregoing, it is clear that their entitlements were fully paid based on the policy guidelines of the Federal Government Reforms programme. Further agitation by this group with intervention and negotiations from the in house Senior Staff Association led Management of Nigerian Ports Authority to consider some palliative measures without recourse to the issues that were earlier addressed (Pension, Gratuity and Repatriation) do not arise or is not of place.

“To finally address the matter and put it to rest, a 200% of one-year total emolument amounting to ₦770,386,586.22 for the 530 earlier affected by the exercise was agreed with the group.

“Further to this, in October 11th, 2013 a joint Communique was reached on the final payment to the 2008 disengaged employees. It was then resolved that:

” This constitutes the full and final payment to the disengaged employees of 2008.

“A letter of indemnity was duly signed by everyone of them before the amount due to each of them was paid. This arrangement was fully effected in December, 2013. There was no distortion of the content of the Joint Communique as alleged, the signing was done openly and transparently. Some of the executives of the group were signatories.

“It should also be noted that the Pension Reforms Act of 2004 which became fully effective from 3rd July, 2007 affected those who left service thereafter.

“They all enrolled with different Pension Fund Administrators where their accrued/contributory pension deductions had been paid and accessed by them. They exited in May, 2008, four (4) years after the full implementation of the new pension Act, 2004 and one year after the expiration of 3 years grace given to those who had 3 years and below to retirement on the old scheme.

“Part 1. sub section 8(i) of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 states: notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of section I of this Act, any employee who at the commencement of this Act (25th June, 2004) is entitled to retirement benefits under any Pension Scheme existing before the commencement of this Act but has 3 or less years to retire shall be exempted from the scheme. From the foregoing, the 3 years elapsed on 3rd July, 2007.

“In view of the above, it is pertinent to the state that the May, 2008 disengaged employees are not part of the Defined Pension Scheme which effectively ended on 3rd July, 2007 as they were enrolled in the New Contributory Pension Reform Scheme with all remittance to their Pension Funds Account Managers made”, Hadiza posited further, adding in conclusion, that as a responsible Corporate entity of government with regards to the statutes, extant regulations and laws of the land, the Ports Authority would not be persuaded into pursuing their troubles further.

 

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Emulate the LTT, NPA Enjoins Industry Stakeholders

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As the Marine firm donates Rader, Communication gadgets, expressing commitment to make things better

The Nigerian Ports Authority at the weekend enjoined stakeholders to selflessly support the Authority’s bid to move efficiency to the next level, even as it thanked the LTT and Coastal Marine Services for its commitment to assisting in strengthening port operations.

The Executive Director of Marine and Operations, Mr. Olalekan Badmus stated this, while witnessing the official installation of the LTT donated equipment, meant to fill up certain operational gaps, thereby improving harbour efficiency.

*L-R: The Apapa Port Manager, Mr. Charles Okaga, the NPA Executive Director, Marine & Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus and the LTT Group Managing Director, Mr. Hilik Yichiel Kalusky during the equipment inspection at the Port’s Tower, Bull Nose, Apapa, Lagos, at the weekend.

The Items included a full VHF, AIS, screens to obtain on-the-spot assessment of the channel; walkie-talkie, and backup inverters with the capacity to work on solar and battery. Their provision is expected to significantly bridge the power gaps, communication, and visual gaps.

“This is a welcome development and my message is to enjoin other stakeholders to emulate the LTT and contribute in whatever ways that will ensure that things get better.

*Executive Director, Marine and Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus, during the equipment inspection

“What the LTT has done is commendable and we know it would have an appreciable impact in boosting our efficiency.

“The LTT has demonstrated it’s goodwill; and like the Yoruba saying goes: We will praise you for this one, to motivate you to do more!”, the Executive Director, Olalekan Badmus further stated.

Earlier in his address, the cheerful-donor, and LTT Managing Director, Kalusky Hilik had highlighted that the major reason for the action was to make things work.

“We are here to make things work. Our vision is to make things work better”, Hilik Kalusky stated, stressing that his major concern had been to ensure an all-round port’s full, functional regime.

He said this is because, whether it is raining, sunny, or harmattan, ships are always coming in; and he is determined that the LTT must deliver the best results possible to Nigeria.

“That is why we decided on the small move to improve on the Rader and Communication aspects.

He expressed his optimism that the port would witness more development in rapid succession and stressed that the LTT wants to be at the forefront of this initiative.

Expatiating on the presentation, an informed staff, Frank Nwaeze said the importance of the equipment was to effectively mitigate the observed gaps, hindering operational efficiency.

He praised the robust relationship between the NPA and the LTT which he noted had consistently increased job efficiency and effectiveness.

“However, in the course of our interactions, we noticed some gaps; and the Managing Director thought it wise, to see how the LTT could fill this gap.

He said the first noticeable gap was the power gap, the erratic power supply, recalling the power outage that occurred twice, 30 minutes earlier, before the ceremony kicked off..

He identified the second gap as in the area of communication gadgets, hence the need to ensure the provision of inverters and the solar system.

*A group picture, after the equipment inspection

“So that at every point in time, the equipment is powered, so as to ensure a better ease of operation.”

Still, on the communication gap, he said it was for this reason that the Managing Director thought it wise to put a base station in the port operations office, to boost harbour and pilotage activities, adding that this would significantly facilitate easy access in the monitoring of the tugs, pilot cutters and make general operations, seamless.

He said the installation has now achieved that, in both the Port Control and Port Operations Office.

Finally, he identified the observed need for the provision of credible electronic eyes, hence the need for the installation of AIS and the radar system. This has now ensured that at every point in time, the authority is fully aware of what obtains in every aspect of its fore or background as well as be able to interact with their vessels.

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NIMASA Expresses Concern Over Seafarers’ Mental Health, Lauds Adeyanju on Industrial Harmony

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…MWUN leader says Jamoh instrumental to Maritime Industry peace 

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, on Tuesday restated the commitment of the Agency to the mental health of Seafarers. 

Dr. Jamoh who specially commended the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN,  during MWUN President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju’s working visit, said the Union was uniquely fostering industrial harmony in the Nigerian maritime sector.

Industry stakeholders have generally identified the Union leader and Prince of Ibadan with pronounced peace and ongoing industrial harmony. Before Adeyanju’s tenure, the Nigerian maritime industry had routinely witnessed a regime of door-banging, threat-mongering unionists.

*L-R: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR (left) with the President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

 

“We have witnessed more dialogue in resolving issues under your tenure and improved employer-employee relationship within the maritime sector”, Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated, stressing:

ALSO READ: US Coast Guard To Work With NIMASA On ‘Condition of Entry’ Removal

“We need to sustain the industrial harmony in this sector, to attain in-country confidence amongst stakeholders and ultimately attract FDI to the country. 

“We at NIMASA will encourage projects like the Seafarers Recreational Centre because it will enhance seafarers’ mental, emotional, and social well-being, amongst other benefits”.

On his part, Comrade Adeyanju highlighted that the Collective Bargaining Agreement facilitated by NIMASA is largely responsible for the ease with which employee-employer dialogue now takes place in the maritime sector.

*L-R: Head, Public Relations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Osagie Edward;  Deputy President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Francis Bunu; Director General NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; President General MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju; Deputy President General MWUN, Comrade Tonye Harry and MWUN Liaison Officer, Lucky Olombeni during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

“Dr. Jamoh has been very instrumental in ensuring industrial harmony within the maritime sector. H

“He seeks dialogue anytime we issue an ultimatum. His pro-activeness has contributed significantly to the outstanding performance of the current NIMASA Administration, we are very proud of him. 

“Unionism is now scientific, with the use of data analysis to arrive at our position on any issue, and we prefer dialogue to confrontation and it has worked for us over the years. The Collective Bargaining Agreement implemented by NIMASA has made things very easy and transparent.” He said

Speaking further, Comrade Adeyanju who is also the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, disclosed that the Union has secured approval for international collaboration to establish a recreational Center for Seafarers in Nigeria, signaling positive strides in supporting the well-being of maritime workers.

ALSO READ: AKUTA: Shippers’ Council Executive Secretary Visits Jamoh, Lauds NIMASA’s Achievements

’’We have been working with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, UK, to which MWUN is affiliated. They have offered us a grant to partly fund the construction of a Seafarers Recreational Centre. 

“We are glad to announce that NIMASA is favorably disposed to this project. When completed, the Seafarers Recreational Centre will not only serve as a rallying point for in-country seafarers, but also offer a welcoming environment for those onboard during port calls, allowing them to experience and savor the warmth of Nigerians”, the MWUN President General further said.

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FOU Kaduna Records N2bn Seizures, Laments Smugglers Still Target Expired Items

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Dalha Wada Chedi, the Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna says his command recorded not fewer than seizures of 27 items, with a duty paid value of N1, 975,657,865.96 between January and February 16, 2024.

Chedi stated this while providing an insight into the activities of the unit, at the Kangiwa House, Kaduna, expressing disappointment that some of the seizures were expired items which could have compromised innocent people’s wellbeing.

“The operatives of the Unit have for the period under review remained resolute in the fight against smuggling thereby making several seizures of 27 different items ranging from used foreign shoes, foreign parboiled rice, Second-hand clothing, expired milk and juice powder, among others”, said Comptroller Dalha Chedi, with a Wednesday in January being very remarkable.

“On Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted One truck conveying 179 Bags of Tiger Nuts (50Kg each) based on intelligence along Maigatari/ Malamfatori/ Birniwa axis of Jigawa State.

“On the 3rd February 2024, the operatives of the Unit arrested three trucks along Gumel-Kano road in Jigawa State. 

“The arrest was made following information shared by the intelligence network of the NCS-Headquarters, Abuja on the suspicion that they were conveying prohibited items. A hundred percent (100%) physical examination was conducted at the premises of Kano/Jigawa Command and the three trucks were found to contain 5,076 Cartons of Foreign soap, 703 bales of Foreign second-hand clothing, 925 cartons of macaroni, 320 bales of foreign textiles and 12 Jumbo sacks of foreign used shoes.

“Two suspects were arrested and detained at the Kano/Jigawa Command in connection with the seizures and they have been granted administrative bail pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

“Also on 11 February 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the Unit acting on credible intelligence along Tsafe-Funtua Road in Zamfara State intercepted One truck on the suspicion of improper importation.  

“Further examination revealed that the truck was conveying 75 cartons of expired foreign jolly juice powder and 8 sacks of foreign expired milk powder that were found to have expired since 2019 and thus unfit for human consumption. 

“The expired milk was concealed with sacks of dried hides & skin. These are expired, unused, and contaminated items which if not intercepted by our operatives would cause havoc to society in general.

“Other items seized within this period are: 237 Bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (50 Kg each), 1837 cartons of foreign spaghetti, macaroni and couscous, 1707 jerry-cans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) 25litres each, 3459 cartons/sachets of Amoxicillin, Artesunate, 500 Mg, 35 cartons of flame lighters, 2089 cartons of foreign dates, 142 cartons of YES Cigarettes, 810 pieces of foreign used tyres, many vehicles deposited at various Customs formations in the Zone, among others.

“The Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the Seizures made within the period under review is N1, 975,657,865.96) only”, he stated further, adding that since the foreign dates and the Tiger-Nuts were edible and perishable goods, they would be auctioned in line with the provisions of Paragraph 15 (b) of the Schedule of the Nigeria Customs Service Act No. 35, 2023.   

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