The strike embarked by the Maritime Workers Union (MWUN) has been suspended. This followed the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige who summoned a meeting between the union and the Ministry of Transportation, Federal Ministry Power, Works and Housing as well as the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) today in Abuja.
The meeting tackled all the issues raised by the union in their notice of action which included the deplorable condition of roads leading to the ports, issues surrounding their concessioning and decongestion, poor sanitary condition in and around the ports as well as the need for palliative works on roads while the major construction is hastened.
The Minister in his conciliatory note reassured of the determination of the Federal Government to tackle all the issues in order to enhance the ease of doing business and urgently arrest the situation where Nigerian ports constantly lose cargos to ports in the neighboring countries.
The parties to the meeting unanimously therefore resolved as follows:
1. That the Special Committee on road decongestion to remove Trucks/Trailers
On the roads should be brought back and the personnel undertaking it should be strengthened.
2. The collaborative efforts of Federal Ministry of Transport through the NPA, FMWP&H, Dangote Limited and Flour Mills on the two (2) Klm Wharf road is noted. However, these efforts have not been very appreciable as only 10% of the work has been done till date. The meeting therefore called on the lead project company; Dangote to speed up action in terms of galvanizing human and material resources to see that they meet the timeline of the completion of the project in spite of unforeseen challenges.
3. The Federal Government to pursue vigorously the policy of non- establishment of new Tank Farms in the Port areas.
4. The collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Concessionaires at the Ports in terms of movement of Containers by rail should be strengthened so that there is no pillage of Trailers on access road to Port.
5. The establishment of 340 (three hundred and forty ) capacity Trailer Park by the FMPW&H is a step in the right direction and noteworthy but the meeting appealed that the final stage of the Shore line Protection work be completed in before the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018.
6. A total reconstruction of the major access roads to Tin-Can Port area from Liverpool road via Coconut via Sunrise to Mile2 road should be undertaken urgently and in this direction, FMoT through the NPA are to synergize and consummate the project before the end of the 2ndquarter of 2018.
7. The FMPW&H which has already captured the road to Tin-Can Port in its 2018 Budget should also do the same for roads leading to other Ports Nationwide.
8. The sanitary conditions of the surrounding and roads to the Ports should be the Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR) of the NPA and the Authority should do the needful to remove the refuse within 3months to avoid endangering the lives of workers and Port users.
9. The source of funding for the 7(Seven) km road from Liverpool to Mile2 should be from Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), while the FMPW&H should provide technical expertise.
10. In view of this conciliation meeting, the MWUN hereby suspends its intended strike action.