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Retired NPA Staff Protest Non-Payment of Entitlements 30 Years After

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Some retired staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have protested the non payment of their gratuity and pensions for the past 30 years.
The aggrieved retirees who were retrenched on 10th June, 1991 from the service alleged that no payment had been made to them by the Authority since their retirement. 
They, therefore, appealed to the Acting Managing Director, Mohammad Bello-Koko and the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to intervene in the matter without further delay. 
This was contained in a statement issued by the spokesman of the aggrieved retirees, Engr. Sylva Okoro after a meeting in Lagos, last week. 
Okoro decried what he called “the corruption and embezzlement going on in NPA”, accusing the ousted Managing Director of the authority, Hadiza Bala Usman of cornering government’s money for her personal use instead of using it to pay the retirees since 1991.
He said by not paying the retirees their entitlements, the management of NPA had subjected them to untold hardship for 30 years.
“The suspended MD of NPA, Usman, who is presently facing a panel of enquiry by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for embezzlement of funds, has put the 1991 retrenched workers into untold penury and hardship, and majority of us have died due to lack of financial resources to adequately manage our peculiar health conditions and inability to meet our family responsibilities”, he said.
The retirees’ spokesman said in an effort by the retirees to get their entitlements, they had written several appeal letters to the suspended NPA boss to no avail.
Okoro claimed that while the retirees were in active service, they were not found wanting for anything, either stealing or destroying NPA property to justify the punishment they are receiving.
“We were obedient servants and highly dedicated to our duties to the best of our ability before we were compulsorily retrenched and served with letter of termination of appointment individually, on 10th of June 1991, without full payment of our pensions and other benefits.
“Those heads of department who said we should not to be paid our pensions should know that there is God. None of those general managers know how their own day will be. We wonder why punishment should be meted on us after working for the nation diligently for many years”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Customs Cautions Officers On Improper Dressing, Unkempt Beards

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to sanction its officials for improper dressing and unkempt beards.  Other minor violations include use of name tags.
This was contained in a memo issued by the Deputy Comptroller General, Human Resources Development of NCS, A.T. Babani.
The memo number HRD/2021/026 titled: “Introduction of Customs Police Caution Slip in the Service” was dated 10th September, 2021.
The memo stated that the caution slip would be issued in triplicate for minor offences such as improper dressing, use of unapproved name tags, and failure to shave among others.
The service said it has introduced the use of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
The memo reads, “I am directed to bring to your notice that the Comptroller General of Customs has approved the usage of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
“The slip which will be administered by the Customs Police Unit of various Zones/Area Commands would be in triplicate and once issued, a copy shall be forwarded and inserted into the officer’s establishment file.
“The issuance of the Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) will include offences such as improper dressing, multi-colour waist belt other than approved one and usage of unapproved name tag, failure to shave, and other sundry minor violations of the second regulation 13 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP LFN of 2004 as amended.
“The caution slips would serve as a proactive tool to ensure compliance to rules and regulations.
“First-time offenders, repeated offenders and consistent pattern of offence identified, shall be documented and used for strategic decisions making”.

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Maritime

Stakeholder Tasks RSG, MWUN On Piracy

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, says the union and the state government need a strong synergy to tackle the act of sea piracy and all forms of criminal activities in the state’s waterways. 
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers state Branch, Comrade Jonah Jumbo, in an interview with The Tide, noted that unlike in Lagos State, there was no synergy between the Rivers State Government and MWUN to curb piracy on the waterways.
“We need to work together to checkmate all forms of criminality, sea piracy and attacks on passenger boats in our waters”, Jumbo said.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that the state government and the union were working in parallel lines, hence the high rate of piracy on the waterways.
Jumbo said, lack of synergy between the state and the union was having negative turns in its operations, thereby not improving marine transport business in the state.
The chairman said the union alone cannot solve the problem of insecurity in the waterways, hence the need for collaborations between the state government and other relevant authorities.
He further noted that Lagos State was doing well in marine transportation because there was a strong synergy between the state government and the union.
“Lagos state maritime business is improving every day with more fleets because the government, stakeholders and the union are working towards ensuring success”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Inadequate Facilities At MAN Worry Mariners

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The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has lamented lack of simulators for training of cadets at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
The body also decried lack of ocean-going vessels to enable the cadets of the academy acquire the mandatory sea time experience.
NAMM President, Capt. Tajudeen Alao disclosed this during an interview with newsmen, recently. 
“Training at the Academy had always been as per the International Maritime Organisations (IMO) model courses”, he said.
Capt. Alao said the shortcomings have always been in the areas of lecturers, simulators and international trading ships for practical exposure.
Other challenges include lack of funding, bureaucracy and the Nigerian factor.
“Leadership of the academy too has not been based on professionalism but political consideration. The shipping companies who are end-users have not committed their services to the academy.
“The number of students per class is much more than what is obtainable in the western world. 
“There are no core ship-related courses, not many courses, facilities and disciplines,” Alao said.

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