Union threatens to shutdown seaports

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One year after a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Government was signed to fix Tin Can Island end of Apapa Oshodi Expressway, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have renew earlier ultimatum to shut-down the nation’s seaports.

The union’s President, Adewale Adeyanju, said government had promised the union earlier in 2018, to repair the Ijora-Apapa and Oshodi-Apapa expressways before the end of second quarter.

He regretted that nothing has been done to fix the failed portion of Tin Can Island access road that had continued to make life hellish for port users.

Adeyanju lamented that the communiqué signed by both parties in 2018 has expired, thus the government failed to fulfill its part of the agreement.

The union leader also acknowledged efforts made by the government to reconstruct the Ijora-Apapa road, but bemoaned the dilapidated and abandoned state of the Oshodi-Apapa road.

The unionist, while highlighting some of the challenges faced by the union during a working visit by Alhaji Ahmed Gambo, the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Service of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) the MWUN boss called on the government to put in place measures to fix the deplorable condition of the failed road.

“The Vice President of this great country came to visit the port last year, he saw the situation of the port and a contract was awarded to the same firm constructing the Wharf Road linking Apapa port but we want to know what is happening to Tin Can Island port access road.

” What we are saying is that the government should put some palliative measures on ground which we know will reduce the gridlock on the road and that is the essence of saying we might be forced to renew our suspended ultimatum.

“We cannot access Tin Can Island Port,we cannot even access Mile 2; what we told the ministries at the meeting last year was for them to upgrade the roads through palliative measures because Apapa was still under construction then but Apapa port access road is a bit motorable for now and nothing is done to Tin Can port access road.

Adeyanju told the government official that “We will continue to talk until something is done to fix Tin Can Island road , because we all signed a communiqué and this communiqué has elapsed.

“The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria is not known to be loud when it comes to critical issues like this because what we are saying affects the economic growth of the nation and turn around time for ships.

” We always believe in due process and we signed what we called a communiqué with the federal government last year and the we way things are going right now is that we might be forced to renew that ultimatum,” he said.

He said that, security agencies deployed to ease gridlock along the ports corridor, were not helping matters.

He said accused government taskforce on port decongestion of alleged extortion on truckers.

He noted that the situation has led to high cost of transportation,

According to him, truck owners have increased haulage charges due to the alleged extortion and molestation of the taskforce at the Ijora bridge , even as he noted that such actions have caused major setback to the growth of the maritime sector.