Ports and harbours bill: 20,000 workers to go ••
… Palpable fears amidst executive directors of NPA
Investigation carried out by Nigerian NewsDirect has revealed that no fewer than 20,000 maritime workers are set to lose their job if the Harbour is concessioned. The Ports and Harbours Authority Bill which is currently before the House of Assembly seeks to repeal the NPA Act of 1955 as amended and replace it with Nigerian Ports and Harbour Authority.
However this act to concession the harbours is said to jeopardize the life of fewer than 20,000 workers. In a recent Maritime Workers Union Protest, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) President Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said if the Ports and Harbours Authority Bill is passed into law it would lead to massive job loss to members of the union as item 6 of the second schedule of the Bill states that not all the workers of the NPA would be absolved into the Harbour Authority. It is believed that the Bill is to strip workers of their common wealth through further concession of harbour operations in the guise of amending Port Act of 1955.
Feelers reaching Nigerian NewsDirect also revealed that there is palpable fear amid some Executive Directors and senior staffe of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) who are in full support of the union protest as they believed that if the Ports and Harbours Authority bill is passed they are at risk of losing their jobs with NPA going into extinction, and are earnestly backing the union with resources to fight against the passage of the bill. The Union leader had earlier stated that the Ports and Harbours Authority Bill does not make provision for who will pay off the workers that would be sacked once the port is sold off. Some stakeholders in the industry also believed that the bill portreys a great danger to the nation’s security Recall that the recent discovery of a container at the Tin Can Island port, 440 cartons of arms and ammunition were discovered at the port are strong signals that the bill must not see the light of the day.