The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, has urged the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria to suspend its planned strike.
Bello-Koko, while disclosing this in a statement on Monday, said that the NPA has successfully brokered peace between the union and operators in the oil and gas industry over non-compliance with Stevedoring regulations.
The MWUN had, last week, threatened to shut the nation’s seaports, jetties, and oil and gas platforms on Tuesday (today) over what it described as the continued refusal of the International Oil Companies and Stevedoring Contractors to comply with the Stevedoring Extant Laws, “lack of access to work locations, lack of remittance of 3 percent MWUN levy by Stevedores.”
The union also complained that it had written a series of letters, press releases, ultimatums, marine notices, and several ministerial orders but all were serially ignored even as they blamed the NPA for allowing the IOCs to operate without control.
However, reacting to this, Bello-Koko said the agency would do all it takes to ensure peace and industrial harmony among the groups.
“We will do all it takes to ensure industrial harmony and prevent the shutdown of crucial production platforms of the oil and gas, and allied industries that maritime workers control. The national economy cannot afford any shutdown at this time,” he said.
Bello-Koko added that at the end of the meeting which took place at the agency’s headquarters in Marina, Lagos State, a communiqué addressing the workers’ grievances and subsequent suspension of planned strike action was signed.
Bello-Koko noted that those in attendance included the Executive Vice-President (Down Stream), Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mr. Adedapo Segun; Deputy President, Nigerian Labour Congress, Adewale Adeyanju; President, National Association of Stevedoring Operators, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola; Managing Director, Nigerian Pipeline Storage Company, Mr. Bayo Adenrele; and the Assistant Director, Distribution System, Storage and Retail Infrastructure of the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, amongst other industry leaders.