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Maritime Unions Recommend 30% Deduction From NPA IGR, Threaten Service Withdrawal If Resisted By FG

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, President General MWUN, (M) flanked by President SSASCGOC Maritime Branch Comrade Akinola Bodunde and President NPA Branch MWUN Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli (Left) and DPG MWUN Comrade Francis Bunu and General Secretary of SSASCGOC Maritime Branch Comrade Isah Abubakar during a press briefing held in Lagos

The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCCOG) Maritime Branch and management of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have recommended for the federal government to accept 30% of the Internally Generating Revenue (IGR) from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) against the proposed 50 – 50 directed by the Ministry of Finance.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC)and Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) affiliate unions also threatened to withdraw their services from the seaports nationwide once the federal government fails to yield to the recommendations.

The Finance Ministry in a circular
Ref/FMFCME/OTHERS/IGR/CFR/21/2023, dated 28 December 2023 addressed to all Federal Ministries , Department and Agencies /Parastatal on automatic deduction of 50% from IGR.

But speaking at a joint press briefing in Lagos on Monday , President of SSASCGOC Maritime Branch, Comrade Akinola Bodunde explained that the NPA remains a self funded government agency which receives zero allocation from the government budget adding that taking a chunk of 50% of its IGR will as a matter of fact stall or impede the effective discharge of its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR).

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This , he said will further attracts negative effects to the port industry which in turn will not be palatable to the seaports operations nationwide.

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According to him, the responsibilities of NPA are enormous adding that issues bothering on dredging, maintenance of the ports quay aprons , port jetties /terminals, manpower development and Corporate Social Responsibilities CSR are key factors that requires huge financial burden on NPA.

Bodunde reiterated that “We recommend that 30% of the revenue internally generated by the Authority could be automatically deducted whilst 70% is left for the Authority to accomplish its overhead costs and statutory responsibilities, failure of which the union would have no order option than to withdraw the services of its members from all ports formations nationwide.”

Similarly, President General , MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju maintained that the 50% demand by government is denial of NPA revenue drive.

Adeyanju who also doubles as the Deputy President,NLC argued that “We have carefully studied this circular especially as it relates/affects the Nigerian Ports Authority and hasten to express our displeasure over same on the following grounds. Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is a self-funded Government Agency which receives zero allocation from the Government budget and taking a chunk of 50% of its internally generated revenue will as a matter of fact stall or impede the effective discharge of its corporate responsibilities and the consequential effect of this will not be palatable.

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“Few of such corporate duties include; Constant Dredging of our Port Channels: Our channels are probably the shallowest in the West Africa Sub region especially the Eastern Ports channe s. They require constant dredging without which vessels cannot be easly p oted to berth.

“Dredging of the Ports channels require huge financial outlay. This w’ be pretty d fficutt to achieve when 50% of its internally generated revenue is removed. The resu tant effect will lead to ship owners diverting their vessels to our neighboring countr’es where ease of doing business is provided.

“Regular maintenance of our Quay Aprons: Almost all the Ports Quay Aprons are in bad shape due to old age and they therefore constitute grave danger not ony to men but also to equipment. We had at one time or the other expressed fear over the dilapidated condition of our Ports Quay Aprons.

“Maintaining and sustaining healthy Quay Aprons is capital intensive and if our Quay Aprons are this bad now, one can only imagine what the situation would look like when NPA is denied 50% of its revenue.

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“We need to be proactive as our neighboring countries are very ready to capitalize on our inability to provide the required infrastructure to attract ship owners. Maintenance of Ports, Jetties and Terminals: Maintenance of Ports, Jetties and Terminals is also capital intensive.

“Presently all the infrastructures in our Ports, Jetties and Terminals are in decrepit position, yawning for urgent repairs. How would they then look like when the Authority is denied 50% of its internally generated revenue?
The situation is better imagined than described.

“A healthy and well-trained workforce is a pre-requisite condition for improved productivity and efficient service delivery. Needless to say that Port operations is a specialized one that requires well trained workforce to compete favorably and take the lead to become the hub of maritime business in the West African sub region.

” A 50% deduction of NPA internally generated revenue will impede the attainment of this lofty dream. Discharge of Corporate Social Responsibilities: Nigerian Ports Authority operates in a hostile environment, especially in the Eastern axis. (Niger Delta).”