Statutory Corporations and Government-owned Companies have strongly opposed the recent efforts by the National Assembly to reconsider the Ports and Harbour Bill.
The unions, expressing their discontent during a joint press conference in Lagos, warned that this legislative move could jeopardize the nation’s security and compromise President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to creating five million jobs through the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.
President General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, and President of SSACGOC, Maritime Branch, Akin Bodunde, emphasized the potential detrimental impact of the bill, asserting that it would transfer harbor, jetty, and terminal operations into private hands, leading to severe consequences for the country’s security.
The unions accused the sponsors of the bill of being unpatriotic, alleging a hidden agenda aimed at exploiting the nation’s resources for personal gain.
They expressed disappointment that, instead of addressing critical issues like the deplorable state of seaports, port access roads, collapsing quay aprons, and overall infrastructure failures within the ports, the focus of the 10th National Assembly seemed to be on a bill that could lead to chaos and anarchy in the maritime industry.
Moreover, the unions highlighted the disregard for demands to hold International Oil Companies accountable for adhering to Nigerian maritime regulations.
They warned that the proposed bill, if passed into law, could result in job losses at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and undermine the rights of workers, paving the way for casualization and violating the Pension Reform Act 2004 as amended.
The unions urged the executive, the National Assembly, and the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy to reconsider the potential adverse effects of the bill on the maritime industry and the nation at large.”