The Federal Government has described the Maritime Workers as crucial in boosting the nation’s economy.
Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, nade the assertion in a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Eric Ojiekwe on Friday in Abuja.
Sambo who stated this when the President, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, led its Executive Council on a courtesy visit on him in Abuja, solicited for support from the union to enable him leave one or more legacy projects before his tenure terminates on May 29, 2022.
According to Mu’azu: “If there are 3 key things that we can achieve before we go, we would have left some legacies for Nigerians. If they are important and all we can do is to build a foundation for others to come and lay on it, so be it. Let us lay that foundation and not leave it for the next people”.
Speaking further, the Minister informed the Union that he was part and parcel of the maritime industry, having started his public service career with the Nigerian Ports Authority, acknowledging that sheer providence has brought him back to the sector, hence he have no reason to tell Nigerians that he recorded not a single achievement while at the helm of affairs in Transportation Ministry.
Speaking earlier on reasons for the visit, Adeyanju, informed that one of them was the blatant refusal by International Oil Companies (IOCs) to obey government Marine Notice104 of 2020 and Extant Stevedoring Regulations.
Another, according to him was the continued non-payment of pensions due aged seamen which was a clear violation of their rights in retirement.
He also called on the Federal Government to prioritize the dredging of Calabar, Warri and Port-Harcourt ports to forestall the flooding being being witnessed in the Lokoja axis in Kogi State.
Adeyanju further used the occasion to call on Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to speed up the process of issuance of Biometric Identity Cards to dock workers and Seafarers Identification Document (S.I.D) to Seafarers to checkmate the influx of unauthorized persons at the Ports.