NPA to Sack 5,000 Workers Before Xmas


The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is set to lay off 5,000 tally clerks and onboard security men from the port sector before Christmas and New Year.
However, the National Association of Stevedoring Companies (NASC) yesterday said that 10 stevedoring companies would be involved.
Speaking on the development, the President of the association, Mr Bolaji Sunmola, said that the matter would be taken to the Federal Ministry of Transport for resolution.
In a letter signed by NPA’s Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Mr David Omonibeke, and dated November 23, the authority notified 10 stevedoring firms of its decision to disengage the tally clerks and onboard security men.
NPA explained that sequel to a stakeholders’ meeting on November 10, 2015, management resolved to discontinue with the services of tally clerks and onboard security men.
Sunmola noted that NPA had indicated at the meeting that it would disengage tally clerks and onboard security men by December, 15, 2015.
In the letter to the 10 stevedores engaged in Lagos, Tin Can Island, Onne, Rivers and Calabar ports, the authority explained that it had ceded cargo handling to terminal operators in the concession areas.
The companies include: Matral Marine Services, Bashisa Global Limited, Westland International, Dockworth Services International and Long Shore Stevedoring (all in Lagos Port Complex).
Others are at Tincan Port are Excellent Dominion, Blue Ocean Cargo Handling; Patrade Nigeria Limited (Rivers port); Insight Marine Limited (Onne Port) and Fairdeal Agency Ltd. (Calabar Port).
The letter noted: “The terminal operators are responsible for the stevedoring operations in their areas as provided in the concession agreements.’’
The letter also directed NPA’s personnel to stop accepting bills from the stevedoring companies after the expiration of their contract on December 15, 2015.
He noted that NPA’s decision would make Nigerian ports vulnerable to all sorts of shady practices.
Sunmola said: “From December 15, Nigeria will be losing the independence of reports and accounts without bias of happenings at the quay apron of Nigerian ports.
“Cargo surveyors can never be substitutes for the tally clerks and onboard security men. We maintain that payment of tally clerks is never a drain to NPA’s revenue.’’
Sunmola added that the association was aware of the move by NPA, adding that members of the association had started discussing with the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, to call NPA to order.
He said: “We are talking with the Federal Government about it through the minister of transport‎ and we hope that something would be done on or before December 15.”
Efforts are also being made by the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to ensure that its members (tally clerks and onboard security men) keep working.
When contacted, the spokesman, NPA, Capt Iheanacho Ebubeogu, explained that the authority had decided to hands off the management of tally clerk and onboard security at ports.