Home Business Maritime Maritime workers decline 50% NPA’s IGR deduction

Maritime workers decline 50% NPA’s IGR deduction

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Organised labour in the nation’s maritime sector has rejected a circular from the Ministry of Finance which directed a 50 per cent deduction from the internally generated revenue (IGR), of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), into the federation account, arguing it portended great danger for port operations and development.

Acting under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, (SSASCGOC), NPA branch, the organised labour branch, instead advocated a 30 per cent IGR deduction.

“We recommend that 30 per cent of the revenue internally generated by the Authority could be automatically deducted whilst 70 per cent is left for the Authority to accomplish its overhead costs and statutory responsibilities, failure of which the Union would have no other option than to withdraw the services of its members from all Ports formations nationwide”, the unions said.

At a briefing yesterday in Lagos, leaders of the two in-house unions, Prince Adewale Adeyanju and Akinola Bodunde, President-General of MWUN and President of SSASCGOC NPA branch, called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the matter to avoid a looming industrial unrest.

They argued that if the 50 per cent was allowed, it would impact negatively on the constant dredging of the ports channels, regular maintenance of the quay apron, maintenance of port jetties and terminals, manpower development discharge of its Corporate Social Responsibilities and staff welfare.

“We have carefully studied this circular especially as it relates/affects the NPA and hasten to express our displeasure over same on the following grounds. NPA is a self-funded government agency which receives zero allocation from the government budget and taking a chunk of 50 per cent of its internally generated revenue will as a matter of fact stall or impede the effective discharge of its corporate responsibilities and the consequential effect of this will not be palatable.

“Our channels are probably the shallowest in West Africa, especially the eastern ports channels. They require constant dredging without which vessels cannot be easily piloted to berth, dredging of the port channels requires huge financial outlay.

“This will be pretty difficult to achieve when 50 per cent of its internally generated revenue is removed. The resultant effect will lead to ship owners diverting their vessels to our neighbouring countries where ease of doing business is provided.

“Almost all the ports quay aprons are in bad shape due to old age and they, therefore, constitute grave danger not only to men but also to equipment.

“We had at one time or the other expressed fear over the dilapidated condition of our ports quay Aprons. Maintaining and sustaining healthy Quay Aprons is capital intensive and if our Quay Aprons are this bad now, one can only imagine what the situation would look like when NPA is denied 50 per cent of its revenue. We need to be proactive as our neighbouring countries are very ready to capitalize on our inability to provide the required infrastructure to attract ship owners.

“Maintenance of Ports, Jetties and Terminals is also capital intensive. Presently all the infrastructures in our Ports, Jetties and Terminals are in decrepit position, yawning for urgent repairs. How would they then look like when the Authority is denied 50 per cent of its internally generated revenue? The situation is better imagined than described.

“A healthy and well-trained workforce is a pre-requisite condition for improved productivity and efficient service delivery. Needless to say, Port operations is a specialized one that requires well well-trained workforce to compete favourably and take the lead to become the hub of maritime business in the West African sub region. A 50 per cent deduction of NPA internally generated revenue will impede the attainment of this lofty dream’’.

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