MAJAN Roundtable: Efficient Management, Not Separate Ministry Needed In Maritime Sector – Adeyanju


President of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Prince Adewale Adeyanju, has stated that efficient management of the Maritime Sector is needed to turn around its fortunes, rather than the creation of a separate ministry aside the Transport Ministry, for better performance.

Adeyanju is of the opinion that the Transport Ministry as it is presently constituted – if well run by technocrats who are grounded and versed in Maritime affairs, those who have genuine interest of the sector at heart, and those who are willing to knuckle down, roll up their sleeves to the needed work with due diligence – the sector would not only function well but equally yield the needed dividends required of such a terrain with so much potential to create wealth for the nation.

He made the remarks on Thursday while answering questions from a cross section of the Media at the Round Table discussion organised by the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), at the Association’s Secretariat in Apapa, Lagos.

Adeyanju, who doubles as the National Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, suggested that appointments to Agencies such as NPA, NIMASA and others, should be based on those who have deep knowledge of the industry, by ensuring square pegs in square holes.

This, he said, will bring about great value and improvement in the Maritime industry.

“It is not the creation of a Maritime Ministry that is important, for the sector to do well. What is important is efficiency. If there is no efficiency among the management team, it will still boil down to the same problem we have always identified and are still complaining about. A case where we have round pegs in square holes will not bring the needed change we’re clamouring for.

“We must ensure that the right people are put in the right positions. Also, developments of Ports must be done across the country, not just developing Lagos Port alone, but the Warri and Onne Ports too, for instance, should be considered. We forget about Ports in other parts of the country. This is also crucial, as it will ease the stress and pressure on the Lagos Port. Access roads to these Ports too should be looked into as a matter of urgent importance.”

He stated there was a time when an attempt was made to toe that lime before, but it didn’t yield the desired results.

Casualisation of dock workers

“The Union has ensured that the issue of casualisation of dock workers is now a thing of the past, even though there is still much to be done in that regard.

“Before now, observers say dock workers were treated like orphans and without any hope. But today, the Maritime Workers Union, under Adeyanju’s leadership, has completely changed the narrative as the dock workers are not only respected and recognised as valuable contributors to the growth of the industry, but are now pensionable as well.

Prince Adeyanju noted that casuallisation or any name it is given is a ‘virus’.

His words, “In any place in the world, casuals have no hope, and this is the case we have been making over the years. Before now there was nothing like pension or gratuity, but with new trends in the Ports now, which is favourable to the dock workers, we can see peace in the Ports because we have Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), with their employers – midwifed by Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA; who are the regulating agencies monitoring the dock workers’ activities in the Port.”

He further stated that in order to address the issue of casuals, the Union reached an agreement with relevant operators and agreed on three modes of operations that takes care of all categories of dock workers.

“So we have three modes of operations that have taken care of this virus called casuals. We have Permanent Employment within the rank and file of the dock workers. There is what we call Payment by Tonnage. This means that the tonnage the vessel brought would be shared amongst all the people that worked on board that vessel, and that depends on the volume. The Union equally fights for their terminal benefits, and their pension. So, all the dock workers in the Ports today are pensionable and they are entitled to their terminal benefits, pension and gratuity.”

Prince Adeyanju, however, stated that despite these achievements recorded by the Union, a lot more needs to be done, as the issue of casuals is not completely settled.

He stressed: “I have not completed my assignment. We are still going to do more for the average dock workers in shipping.”

He noted that the dock workers are the engine room of operations in the industry, and should be accorded the respect they deserve.

“Over the years, the dock workers were looked down upon as common slaves in their own father land, who have no father or mother. But today, they have a father and they have a mother -and that father and mother is the Union umbrella which covers all the dock workers in the sector,” Adeyanju said.

Issue of IOCs

On the issue of International Oil Companies (IOCs), the MWUN President noted that there has been remarkable improvement in their compliance level, stressing that the IOCs have a penchant for disregarding and undermining government directives.

He vowed that the Union will longer condole the recalcitrant attitude of the IOCs.

“It is unfortunate that the IOCs, who came from abroad to invest in our resources are not obeying laws and directives given by government. Otherwise, how can seven days directive by government to the IOCs for compliance take many years to be effected? We are not going to take that anymore.That flagrant disregard for government directives must must stop,” he says.

Upward review of salary of dock workers

Adeyanju informed that the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has reviewed upwards the salaries of dock workers.

NIMASA and Jamoh

The NLC Vice President showered special encomiums on the Director General of NIMASA, Dr.Bashir Jamoh, for his great performance since taking over as the DG of NIMASA.

“Dr.Jamoh has performed creditably well. He has brought so many innovations and has greatly improved the Maritime industry,” he said.

Adeyanju bags Maritime Labour Icon Award

The highlight of the passion was the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), honouring Prince Adewale Adeyanju with the prestigious Maritime Labour Icon Award.

The Award was bestowed on him for his leadership prowess and outstanding performance, as the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).

Speaking during the special occasion, the President of MAJAN, Comrade Ray Ugochukwu, described Comrade Adeyanju as a reputable Maritime Labour icon, who has through hard work and doggedness, successfully liberated Maritime workers from oppression by their employers.

In his remarks, Comrade Adeyanju expressed his pleasure at the proactiveness of Maritime Journalists in reporting activities in the sector.

Need for incoming Govt to develop Ports and access roads across board

Responding further to questions on issues in the Maritime industry, he reiterated the need on the in-coming government to develop the Warri and Calabar Ports. This, he said, becomes imperative to enhance greater productivity in the sector.

His words: “We have made our position known. The in-coming government should give attention to Warri, Calabar and other Ports, instead of focusing only on Lagos ports, when other Ports can be deployed to boost growth in the industry.

“Also, government should put the Ports’ access roads in good shape like what obtains in other countries.

“For instance, the access road to TinCan Island Port has been taken over by artisans, food vendors cooking on the roads and other commercial activities taking place there. If you go to TinCan Port in the evening, you will even see pupils in their uniforms playing on the major road. This is not the only place. The road leading to Onne Port is nothing to reckon with. We are hopeful that the new administration will address these issues.”

MAJAN President

Earlier, the President of MAJAN, Mr Ray Ugochukwu, while welcoming the MWUN President, noted that the dock workers have gone through transformation since he took over as the president.

He said Prince Adeyanju, as a Maritime icon, has brought so much improvement on both the workers and the Union in particular, noting that today, the Union has more than ever before, become formidable and effective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *