The Shipping and Courier Branch of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria in conjunction with the Nigerian Labour Congress, Rivers State Council has picketed the premises of Murphy Shipping and Commercial Services Limited in Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, over what it described as violation of labour laws and injustice meted out to workers.
The protesters who barricaded the gate of the company for about seven days, with placards and with the support of the affiliate unions of NLC, Rivers State Council, is demanding for the re-instatement of their sacked members and negotiation of the condition of service for the workers.
Some of the placards displayed have the inscription like picketing-in-action-NLC R/S, Gormma Okenedo Bye-Bye from Murphy Shipping, we stand for justice, since 2009 no mutual negotiations, we say no, it must be concluded.
Addressing the angry striking workers at the scene of the action, the Port Harcourt District Chairman, Shipping / Courier branch of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Ikenna Ajoku, commended the NLC affiliate unions for what he called “highest solidarity to workers in Murphy Shipping who had suffered abuses, harassment, intimidation and sack offers, which he said, violated the basic Nigerian Labour Laws.
Standing on the motto, injury to one, injury to all, the NLC has to mobilise members to picket the company until the injustice is addressed, Comrade Ajoku noted, lamenting that, two of their MWUN members, Comrade Nnamdi Chuku and Comrade Goodthing Thompson (vice chairman) were summarily dismissed by Murphy Shipping in a letter signed by the Managing Director, Ojulape Osinaike without any reason.
According to him, “Our grievances and demands are hinged on pressing issue which include, conclusion of negotiation of workers condition of service with MWUN, reinstatement of their sacked workers and re-deployment of Comrade Johnson Ogoji one of the affected staff or place him on redundancy and pay him all his entitlements in compliance with the Nigeria Joint Industrial Council Standards, after working for 17 years.
Some of the sack victims who spoke to The Tide expressed their gratitude over the intervention of the union to address the injustice in the firm, while a mechanic dept staff, Amusa Shehu lamented over workers deepening economic conditions of service and called on the company to respond to the demands of the union.
In his remark, the Murphy Shipping Unit chairman, MWUN, Morgan Reward, said the picketing action was the only weapon that can compel the company to treat workers with human face, urging them to conclude negotiation on workers’ welfare package also re-instate sacked workers. Effort to speak to the Admin and Safety manager failed as the gate was picketed.
Meanwhile, The Tide gathered that negotiation is on top gear to resolve the impasse.
NSC Boss Warns Maritime Agencies Against Unhealthy Rivalries
The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, has warned agencies in the maritime sector to avoid superiority rivalry, saying it has done the industry more harm than good.
He also advised heads of maritime agencies to avoid cosmetic cooperation and come together for the development of the industry.
Bello gave this warning at a sent-forth ceremony organised in his honour, last Friday.
Bello bowed out of service last Friday after eight years of service.
He was appointed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2013. Before his appointment, he was the Director, Legal Services of the NSC.
Bello noted that some agencies spent so much in defending their territories while neglecting their statutory mandates.
According to him, “There is lack of synergy among the agencies and I don’t think it is succeeding because it has been the basis of equality. There is no agency that is better than the other.
“Agencies are not graded by their budgets but what they contribute, but it is very unfortunate some agencies think that maritime starts and stops with them. No, it cannot work.
“Some agencies are trying to defend territories and in doing so, they go to a large extent and that is not good. They spend a lot of money to defend these territories while they neglect what they are established to do and that’s why we are not developing and that’s what Nigerian Shippers’ Council will never take from anybody not now, tomorrow or forever. We are all equal, we all have contributions to make.
“We can’t be having cosmetic cooperation, we have to have real cooperation”.
Bello said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had undergone a lot of transformations, saying the era of state capture was over.
He lauded the Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors of the Ministry for giving the Council the opportunity to achieve a lot through their supports.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Okowa Seeks Permanent Site For Maritime Varsity
The Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the Federal Government to develop the permanent site of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko.
Okowa made the call while playing host to the Governing Council of the university during a courtesy visit at the Government House, Asaba.
He said the establishment of a permanent campus would go a long way in putting the university on a sound footing, and ultimately enable it to deliver on its core mandate of imparting sound maritime-related education on students.
The governor said he was happy that the institution took off academic activities at the temporary site but urged the Federal Government to make resources available for the construction of buildings and provision of amenities that would enhance academic activities.
He noted that the birth of the special educational institution for the training of manpower in the maritime sector had strengthened peace and the economy of riverine communities.
Okowa advocated the need for more projects to be sited in riverine areas because of the inputs of riverine areas to the economy of the nation.
“We thank God that the Maritime University has started even when we have challenges because we do know that the take-off of the university brought good news to our people and helped us to build peace, particularly in our riverine areas”, he said.
Earlier, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr Elias Courson, commended Governor Okowa for his inspiring and magnanimous support towards the take-off and continued development of the university.
He also thanked the governor for establishing three additional universities in the state, which would provide additional access to quality education not only to Deltans but to Nigerians.
Dr Courson, however, appealed to Okowa to assist the university in completing the renovation/ remodelling of the classroom blocks, construction of additional staff quarters and provision of a potable water scheme in the campus.
By: Chinedu Wosu
2022 Nations Cup: S’Eagles To Travel To Cameroon By Boat
The Lagos State Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) says it will convey the Super Eagles of Nigeria by boat to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup.
Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Abdullah Balogun, stated this in a statement.
“We plan to take Nigeria’s Super Eagles to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup after achieving that of Benin Republic — this is a goal we have set for ourselves”, Balogun said.
LAGFERRY said they considered the boat trip following the success recorded in the Benin experience.
He said, “It was a major milestone for us to transport Nigeria’s national team to the Benin Republic through the waterways.
“Coming on board LAGFERRY through the international route to the Benin Republic is a mind-blowing experience. We were excited to be part of it”.
The LAGFERRY boss said the success recorded in the Benin game, where the Eagles won 1-0 away, was as a result of the trouble-free trip.
“It reflected on the field of play and it showed on their (players) performances because they came out victorious in the game,” he said.
Balogun said the players, during next year’s boat trip, would enjoy free Wi-Fi, USB pots and a lot of entertainment and side attractions enabled by technology.
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