24th June, 2011
The senior staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has called on the government to rescind the approval given to jetties to handle ocean going vessels as this poses a serious security threat and loss of revenue to the nation.
This was one of the issues considered during the 22nd Joint Consultative Conference (JCC) of the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations (SSACTAC), NPA Branch, Eastern Ports, held in Benin City recently.
According to the President of SSACTAC NPA Branch, Comrade Jimoh Umar, the â€œNigerian Ports Authority has ceded port operations to the private operators known as concessionaires and this people have invested in this terminal and are ready to handle ocean-going vessels.
â€œIf the private jetties, who feel they have a business that demands they own a jetty, now go acting for the concessionaire ocean going vessel in their jetties, that means, in the first instance they don`t have a business; they only use it as a camouflage in order to ask for a share of the maritime market in Nigeria, which the concessionaire have bid and paid for.
“Automatically, it will dwindle the revenue of the concessionaire, it will affect NPA`s revenue because concessionaires may renege on payment of our own share of the revenue, and at the same time it will affect government’s revenue from the port. “The people that have the right to handle ocean going vessels are the concessionaires, let them handle it,â€ he added.
The President General of SSACTAC, Comrade Adesunkanmi Adetunji, who also spoke on the issue, noted that for security’s sake, government should not allow ocean going vessels to berth at private jetties as some of these vessels can be used to smuggle in firearms.
He lamented the seeming reluctance of all tiers of government to implement the N18,000 minimum wage even after it has been approved and passed as law, charging them to kick-start payment of the minimum wage without further delay.
The conference-in-session appreciated the Federal Government’s efforts at improving road infrastructure but urged them to seriously consider creating dry ports, linked by rail to the sea ports to avert likely future congestion at the sea ports.