The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), Maritime Branch has lamented over the enormous hard times experienced by workers of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on the recent Post No Debit (PND) notice placed on the Authority’s account.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate group also called on the President Bola Tinubu led government to address the issue otherwise, it will be forced to shutdown port operations.
The union said that the policy is posing lots of challenges to the agency even as it added that some ports would soon face the challenge of power outage as they cannot afford to buy diesel to run their generators.
He said, “Putting Post No Debit on our account is affecting the workers, now diesel is finished, no money to buy diesel. Some ports don’t have light now. “Nothing is paid for, Marina (NPA headquarters) cannot send money to the ports as a result, some ports are not having light now.
“That post no debit was signed by the office of the Accountant General but the management on it right now.
The union also kicked against the proposal by the Federal Ministry of Finance to slash revenue of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) into equal halves.
SSASCGOC added that if the policy is allowed, portends that the Authority will have to carry out all its functions like dredging, payment of salaries, allowances, payment for ancillary services to contracted companies, maintenance of all its offices across the nation from the 50 percent of its revenue drive that will be retained for it.
The union boss, Comrade Akinola Bodunde in a chat with journalists on Monday after the annual prayer session, condemned the call by the Ministry of Finance saying that the remaining revenue by the agency would not suffice to carry out its statutory functions efficiently.
Comrade Bodunde while analysing that the Authority has many ventures on which it spends its money, added that NPA would not be able to service all the subordinate ventures effectively.
Bodunde called on the federal government to look inward and allow the port authority to maintain 70 -30 percentage arrangement noting that the responsibilities upon the NPA is too much.
He lamented that if the policy is allowed to stand, it would have a negative impact on the operations of NPA and the ports nationwide.
His words, “What we are saying is the directive from the Minister of Finance that the ministry will take 50 percent of whatever revenue generated by NPA in a year is not acceptable.
“Money goes into dredging every year in dollars, we have partnership with other organisations that we pay from the money we generate every year like INTELS, LTT, MARPOL, the towage in the East, in Lekki and so on.
“Now the quay apron is bad which needs urgent action, the management is planning to rehabilitate all the ports because they are old. You can’t compare them with Lekki that is just coming on board or PTML
“If all these issues are not addressed urgently, by the government then,the unions may be forced to shut down operations nationwide.”, Bodunde expressed