MWUN tasks NPA on renewal of concession agreement with indigenous terminal operators

Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to encourage indigenous terminal operators in the country’s ports by renewing their concession agreements.

President General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, who gave the charge while addressing journalists in Lagos, asked the Managing Director of NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko to expedite action on the renewal of the concession agreements. Adeyanju argued that unlike the foreign terminal operators, whose activities and investments translate into capital flight, indigenous terminals had encouraged Nigerian workers better.

It would be recalled that the Managing Director of NPA, at a parley with the maritime journalists recently disclosed that the concession of no fewer than five terminal operators had expired and that the agency was on the verge of renewing them without new conditions. While making a case for the indigenous terminals, Adeyanju also urged the NPA to give them more favourable terms of agreement than their foreign counterparts, who care less about Nigerians and the country’s economy.

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“Our indigenous terminal operators need to be supported, because they have done well. We all know what transpired in 2016, when they were coming onboard, we thought that they will not perform, but now, we have seen the dividends of privatising the ports one of which is that it has generated employment.

“What happened there was that for the NPA, which happens to be the master stevedore then, privatising the ports affected all 14,000 employees of the NPA, which was reduced to 3,000 workers. “But as things went on, we have been able to manage the terminal operators. We need to encourage them to improve on their terminals.

I agree that some of them are not good, but to me, they have come to stay, anyone found wanting among them should have their contract of concession reviewed,” he said. Adeyanju also pointed out that indigenous terminal operators should be applauded, as most of the foreign terminal operators at the port and other multinational companies invest in Nigeria and make huge profits, which they repatriate to their countries for development.

He said this calls for encouragement of indigenous terminals by the government to ensure money made from Nigeria is reinvested for the development of the country.

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