Nigeria drifting into anarchy, maritime workers lament

• Say foreigners getting Nigeria’s security jobs

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have lamented that the security architecture of the country has broken down and that the country is drifting into a state of anarchy. This is even as the Union revealed that a certain maritime company recently outsourced its entire security functions to foreign nationals.

Speaking over the weekend during the 5th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of MWUN held in Lagos, the President-General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju urged the Federal Government to bring to a stop the incessant killings of innocent citizens, kidnappings, robberies, raping, piracy, brigandage and all other vices rocking the nation.

According to Comrade Adeyanju, “the Nigerian nation is currently drifting towards a state of anarchy, and the Federal Government is hereby called upon to immediately rejig its security architecture with a view to curbing all these vices and saving lives. The incessant killings of innocent citizens, kidnappings, robberies, raping, piracy, brigandage and all other vices rocking the nation must be brought to a stop now.

“On the perennial gridlock on our ports access roads, the government must find a permanent solution to this unpalatable situation. The negative effect of this on our economy has been colossal and unquantifiable. We however applaud the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on the introduction of the E-call-up system which is expected to reduce the number of trucks along the ports access roads. We wish to encourage the NPA not to succumb to the antics of distractors.

“On the attempt to remove wages/salaries of workers from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List, we hereby call on the National Assembly to stop this process. We strongly stand with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on its call that this process be abolished.

“The issue of outsourcing of jobs that are creditably performed by Nigerians to foreigners is becoming endemic in Nigeria’s maritime sector. A case in point being the recent outsourcing of its entire security functions by a certain maritime company to foreign nationals who have no stake in the Nigerian project; except for profit and capital flight. The foregoing situation will undoubtedly send hundreds of Nigerian workers into the unemployment market while creating employment for foreign nationals. This has to stop forthwith as it is at variance with the Nigerian labour law.

“Also, the issue of exceeding expatriate quota in some maritime organization is hereby unacceptable. A situation where more expatriates are employed more than Nigerian nationals with the same jobs but different salary disparity in favour of the foreigners will henceforth be resisted.”

Also speaking at the event, the President of the NLC, Com. Ayuba Wabba condemned the planned increment of the petroleum pump price, stating that this will lead to an increase in the cost of commodities for Nigerians.

The NLC president added that it is premature not to put more burden on Nigerians especially at a time when unemployment and poverty rate is extremely high in the country.

“We heard that some states in the country are yet to start paying the N30,000 minimum wage while salary in some states is not regular. So, the planned increment of petroleum pump price by the government is like adding salt to injury. As we have said clearly, Nigerians and NLC will continue to resist some of this imposition and I think this period is even more challenging because we are aware many people have lost their jobs, the unemployment statistics is extremely high, the poverty level is something else,” Comrade Wabba stated.

The NLC president further added that the union will not allow the government to transfer her inefficiencies in refining crude locally on Nigerians who are already at breaking point due to the harsh economic situation in the country. He lashed out at the government, stating that Nigeria remains the only OPEC country that imports fuel in the world.

“It is left for all of us to resist these impositions because these policies will have a negative effect on all Nigerians, not only labour. The NLC will provide the leadership as usual because we will try to resist it, and resist it means all of us would have to be on our feet and resist some of those policies.

“We believe government policies need to add value to Nigerians and even reduce our burden and not actually increase them. Basically, as you are aware, we have continued to engage the government on these issues for the past 20 years and during the last increment, we are the only organization that stood and said this policy must not be a continuum,” Comrade Wabba added.

Wabba who said the solution to the incessant increment in pump price is the fixing of Nigeria’s refinery also challenged the Federal Government on the $1.5bn cost for rehabilitating the nation’s refinery.

“We support the idea of reviving the refineries but on the issue of the cost component, we are not competent to know what will be the cost hence, we won’t be able to argue the cost. We however urge the government to be transparent in the process of putting those figures and the procedures before Nigerians so that we will be able to examine those figures,” the NLC president explained.



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