The President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and NLC Deputy President, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju has observed that the level of compliance of International Oil Companies (IOCs) has remarkably improved.
He made this declaration at the Maritime Roundtable organised by the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), in Lagos.
The President General also said that the issue of IOCs has been a burning issue in the mind of MWUN as a whole. “I can tell you the level of compliance is well remarkable unlike it was before when we are having sectional compliance. I can say here without mincing any word that some of those oil companies that believed in liquidity have started complying with the extant law of stevedoring act inline with NIMASA, in line with Nigerian Ports Authority”.
“sixty to seventy percent have complied for that IOC issue, but It’s unfortunate that the IOC people came to this country to come and invest in our resources but sometimes they believed in this impunity that has always been the order of the day. Where the government will give a directive and they are not going to obey the directive. Where the law of this great county is not been respected” he stated.
“You can see how we have been making noise in this country, minister will give a directive for seven, seven days can be one year or two years. It is a slap on us we are not going to accept that anymore. Thank God we are about to witness another government that I think any moment from now will take over from outgoing government. Those are the things we have put in place”.
“Yes, every leader has its own style of leadership. The man coming in, many are saying he knows how to do it best. He’ s been governor for eight years he is this, he is that but ruling the entire thirty six state is not one state. Nigeria is a complex state but what we need to do is to give him an advice as maritime stakeholders including you Sir”.
He also said that the position of Deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), will bring remarkable recognition to the maritime sector.
“the position of deputy president of Nigeria Labour Congress is like adding more feathers to the one i have gotten before. “Mine is to make sure that the people that elected me feel the impact of why they have elected me , to serve them and that is what I have been doing. Even in NLC, I was the National Trustee before I was elected as the Deputy President of NLC”.
“We have been trying to see how we can encourage all the stakeholders in the maritime sector for proper recognition.
Coming on board now is going to give us more feathers, more exposure, more recognition that has not been given attention. Mostly the dockworkers, the Nigerian Ports Authority, the shipping, the seafarers and other related port operations that are stakeholders in the maritime sector, and whatever might have been a hindrance between any of the management within the maritime sector I think is my responsibility to cry out for all of them.
“The position is not only for maritime Workers of Nigeria alone. Its cuts across all the sector within the maritime sector. So you are going to see more recognition from Nigeria Labour Congress because over the years we were not been carried along in terms of exposure, but this time around when you see the number two citizen of Nigeria Labour Congress being a President of Maritime Worker’s Union of Nigeria nobody will cry that we are not been recognized. It is an opportunity for all the stakeholders so that we can rally round and support ourselves”.
The President General, MWUN said creating another ministry for the maritime industry sometimes gives a lot of suspicions.
“What is important is efficiency. People creating another ministry if there is no efficiency coming from the management team, is still going to be the same old story”.
“Look at the new Lekki port. They fund Lekki port out of the old port. Tell me the magic that Lekki port will perform when the road leading to Lekki Port is nothing to write home about. So the government should focus on other ports too”.
He urged the federal government not to centralised development of port in one sector but extend it to other ports too.
Comrade Adeyanju urged the government to make appointment of heads of agencies in maritime sector based on experience and not the person that will learn from old hands.
“And when you want to bring somebody to manage port operations don’t bring a carpenter or somebody that read English or somebody that is into bakery, and you now appointed him to be the managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority. What do you expect? He will not perform, he will only learn from the old hands and the moment they graduated from learning from us, those people that helped them to learn they will subject them, they will asked them to get out. That is what is making the port not to be more efficient”.
He applauded the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), for a job well done.
“Look at what is happening in NIMASA, the man at the helms of affairs in NIMASA today is a grassroots man. He started from grass to grace. He knows all the problems of been a regulating agency, he knows the problems within.
The MWUN boss stated further that the reason why there were no incessant strikes which has always been the order of the day by the past leaders was a result of training upon training, awareness upon awareness, and sensitising of dockworkers which has brought transformation to the dockworkers of today.
“As a dockworker myself, I know what I passed through and I can tell you why we don’t have incessant strike that has always been the order of the day as a result of the transformation innovation coming from leaders. Training upon training, awareness upon awareness sensitising our members. But today a dockworker are professionals.
He categorised the casualisation of dockworkers as a ‘virus”
“the Union has reached an agreement with relevant stakeholders and agreed on the three modes of operations that have taken care of this virus called casuals. We have permanent employment within the rank and file of the Dockworkers, there is what we call payment by tonnage which means that the tonnage will be shared amongst all the people that worked on board that vessel.
“dockworkers are the engine room of operation in the industry,and should be accorded the respect they deserve.”