The Zonal Vice President of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Waite Harry has called on the Federal Government to provide adequate security at the various ports in the country, especially Port Harcourt Port.
Comrade Harry who made the call during a chat with The Tide Maritime Correspondent in his office in Port Harcourt on Wednesday said efforts should be intensified to conform with the International Security and Ports Services (ISPS) codes, which stipulates that there should be enough security in our seaports inorder to forestall any attack by unscrupulous elements.
He also called on the operators of the ports to ensure that out-dated ships were stopped from coming into the Nigeria sea ports, saying that they cause a lot of nuisance at the ports.
The MWUN zonal vice president also expressed dismay over the poor inflow of vessels to the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Port Harcourt wharf as compared to the past, adding that the Ports and Terminal Operations Limited (PTOL), Terminal A in Port Harcourt has enough space for containers and customarised goods.
He further expressed worry that most ships with containers always go to the federal Ocean Terminal or Federal Highter Terminal, Onne Port, pointing out that “people are talking of ports concession at Lagos Ports and if these things are fairly allocated to our sea ports, nobody will talk of port concessions at Apapa and Tin Can Ports.”
Comrade Harry used the forum to advise terminal ports operators to rise up to their responsibility by upgrading the ports facilities and improved workers welfare.
He said the dockworkers should be paid regularly, burst-in and burst-out, fully kitted and also provide them with cloak rooms and other working gears to facilitate operations.
On cement importation, the zonal vice president noted that the Federal Government was not doing enough to bring down the price as the tariff is 350 per cent higher than before, thereby making it difficult for the price to come down while the local cement manufacturing companies are not producing enough cement to meet up the demand.
He however, called on the Federal Government to live up to expectation and improve on the importation of cement inorder to bring down the price as there would be more supply.