Maritime workers on Monday warned of a potential nationwide strike if the Federal Government continues with the proposed 50 per cent automatic deduction from revenue accrued to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The workers made the threat in a statement jointly issued by the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria(MWUN) in Lagos.
In the statement signed the two unions, President, SASCGOC, Mr Akinola Bodunde and President General, MWUN, Mr Adewale Adeyanju, the union said they had written a letter to the President regarding the development.
The unions warned that failure to rescind the decision would lead to workers’ withdrawal and total shutdown of ports nationwide.
Both unions insisted on a 30 per cent deduction from NPA’s revenue instead of 50 per cent.
The unions said, “Automatic deduction of 50 per cent of its internally generated revenue shall leave the Authority financially incapacitated to discharge these responsibilities to the host community, which may lead them to resort to unhealthy activities.
“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 President of SASCGOC, Mr Akinola Bodunde, speaking on behave of the union, highlighted the severe financial implications of such a deduction on the operational capabilities of the NPA.
Bodunde explained that with the NPA being a self-funded entity reliant on its IGR, a 50 per cent reduction would affect its operational capabilities.
According to him, the reduction in revenue could jeopardise crucial maritime operations such as dredging port channels and maintaining infrastructure, ultimately affecting vessel traffic and port activities.
He explained that workforce development and community relations are at risk due to the potential consequences of the proposed deduction.
Also, the President General of MWUN, Mr Adewale Adeyanju, underlined the importance of a well-trained workforce for efficient port operations.
Adeyanju expressed concerns that the reduction in revenue could hinder investment in employee training and welfare.
He said that the union worries over the NPA’s ability to meet its obligations to host communities, saying that could be compromised, potentially leading to unrest and social upheaval.
The MWUN president, thereafter, issued an ultimatum to the government, demanding a revisions of the directive to allow for a more reasonable deduction from internally generated revenue. (NAN)