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Labour threatens to shut seaports over salary review

The Nigeria Labour Congress has threatened to shut down the country’s seaports over the government’s refusal to address some of the challenges in the sector.

 The President of NLC, Joseph Ajaero, said this on Friday while addressing journalists in Apapa during a courtesy visit to the President of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Adewale Adeyanju.

 Ajaero charged Adeyanju to give the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to review workers’ salaries and address some of the challenges in the sector.

According to him, the government should explain whose responsibility it is to review the port concession agreements.

 He added that no one would blame the MWUN for not being patient enough having waited for two years.

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 He said, “You wrote to the minister of transportation in 2021 August and 2022 came and passed and we are approaching August 2023. President, if it is going to be possible, give them two weeks ultimatum from today. They will call us if not, you know the central position of maritime in Nigeria even in Africa. Nobody will toil with anything that concerns our workers.

 “On this issue alone, labour has been writing since 2021 and this is 2023. I, as the NLC president, do not have any sympathy for anyone who is toiling with the interest of our workers. MWUN president, the decision is yours. When you decide, do them a letter and shut the seaport in the country.”

 Ajaero charged the ministries concerned including the ministry of transportation and labour to do their jobs.

“If they do not act on this, NLC will join you. We are going to give you a solidarity action,” he added.

 Reacting, the President of MWUN, Adeyanju, said, “We will be giving two weeks ultimatum to the Minister of Transportation to come and explain who is regulating terminal operators. And if nothing is done, we will be shutting down port operations. Thank you for giving us the ultimatum and I want to confirm here that the ultimatum will start on Monday, 6th March 2023. If the government fails to respond, we will shut down the port.”

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