By Oluyinka Onigbinde
President-General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Anthony Emmanuel Nted last week said no fwer than 6000 to 7000 have lost their jobs at the port due to economic recession and the ban on importation of vehicles through land borders
Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos, last week the MWUN president urged the federal government to give one month grace to those whose vehicles are trapped because of the policy to clear their vehicles.
According to him “we want to use this medium to commend the Federal Government on the recent ban on importation of cars through land borders we believe this policy will increase traffic in the ports, creates jobs and revenue for the government.
“However we appeal to the federal government to give a month grace to importers whose vehicles are trapped at the port because of the policy to clear their vehicles. After one month’s grace the federal government should begin full implementation of the policy.
The president also alleged that some disgruntled elements and non-card-carrying members of the union have been spreading malicious insinuations about the union and its leadership
He said, “The tenure of this administration will elapse in March and a new leadership will emerge. What is happening in the union is an eyesore. They have written petitions against me that I want to force a president on them but I made it clear to them that I have just one vote and I cannot vote for two people at the same time. I am going to vote for just one person.
“In some of the petitions, they are calling that the union be dissolved that there is crisis in the union and those who sign these papers are not members of our union.
“I have never one day criticized any of the candidates and I have made it clear that all the candidates are more than qualified and anybody can vote for whoever he decides to vote for.”
He however noted that there is need for government to initiate a stakeholders meeting with the indigenous vehicle manufacturing and assembly plants to identify and address the challenges of manufacturing in the country.
Nted also condemn the poor state of the port access road which has been in commatose for several years despite the union’s effort to draw government’s attention to the issue.
“As we speak, the roads have become death trap to every road despite strong assurances from the federal government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that contract had been awarded for repair of the roads, there is nothing on ground to show that contract has been awarded,” he said.