Lack of onboard security in vessels exposing Nigeria too dangerous cargoes, says MWUN

Lack of onboard security in vessels exposing Nigeria too dangerous cargoes, says MWUN

 The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has urged the federal government to reinstate tally clerks and onboard security men to curb heavy revenue losses in the maritime sector as well as address the issue of dangerous and smuggled cargoes into Nigeria’s ports.

The President-General of (MWUN) Adewale Adeyanju, disclosed this during the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria, (LAWAN) forum recently in Lagos.

According to him, “If the government wants to achieve more, they should bring them back. The vessels coming into the Nigerian ports are so porous. Anything can go out and come in. With onboard security men, we will be able to restore security onboard vessels.

“Federal Government does not know what is happening in the port. We do know more because we are on standby and receive information from our men on the field. They should be reinstituted so that illicit drugs, dangerous vessels and stowaways don’t come into Nigeria.”

He explained that the onboard security personnel were the ones checking to list the activities in the seaports.

“They alert us on any vessel carrying fake drugs or goods. The fish out the bad from the good. Their suspension has been the cause of insecurity in the port. FG should bring them back because they are losing a lot in revenue. Nobody is in the seaport to monitor how many barrels come in. A vessel with 45 tonnes can claim it is 35 because no one is checkmating them.”

He said that a large percentage of vessels coming into the Nigeria ports are passable but with the presence of onboard security men and tally clerks, vessels laden with dangerous cargoes could be easily spotted and surveillance placed on the vessels.

He further stressed that inadequate staff in the Nigeria Port Authority is a major challenge.

”The federal government should employ more capable hands. As the union is promoting its workers to higher positions, the vacancies left should be filled and salaries of both junior and senior staff should be reviewed.”

Speaking further, the President-General advised the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and his petroleum counterpart, Timipre Sylva, to show more commitment to the maritime sector.

Adeyanju said Amaechi’s non-commitment to the sector fully is making the country lose huge revenue.

He urged Amaechi and Sylva to work in a team and investigate the resistance of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) non-compliance to the extant stevedoring regulations, otherwise known as Government Marine Notice 106 of 2014.

He alleged that the IOCs had ignored the minister’s directives and other top stakeholders, including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), that they should allow stevedoring companies access to their platforms to commence operations.

He said the directive issued last year, was supposed to enable the registered dockworkers, along with the appointed and deployed stevedoring companies, to operate on the IOCs platforms.

He added that up till now, the IOCs have bluntly refused the appointed and deployed stevedoring companies to commence operations and have thus deprived its members (dockworkers) in the employ of the stevedoring companies to work and earn a living.

He said that up till now out of 30 IOCs operating in the country only three have complied, thus making Nigeria lose huge revenue in the oil and gas sector.

Source: Daily Times