There has been speculation over the impending sack of about 5,000 contract staff by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) may have now been laid to rest as the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, has formally approved the end of employment relationship with stevedoring contractors and a set of dockworkers known as tally clerks and onboard security.
It was earlier reported the sack of the workers as revealed by the NPA General Manager, Public Affairs, Captain Iheanacho Ebubeogu.
The ministerial approval of NPA’s plan endorsed at his meeting with representatives of the organisation, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), terminal operators, stevedoring companies and top Transport Ministry officials at Abuja recently.
Amaechi, at the meeting, ruled that NPA had every right and reason to terminate relationship the stevedoring contractors said to be employing an unverified 5,000 dockworkers, however directed the port authority to pay the affected stevedores all outstanding money due to them in the next two weeks.
NPA had announced last year that it would not renew the 10-year contracts it signed with the stevedoring companies when it expired on December 15, 2015 and kept to it till the latest ministerial approval.
Captain Iheanacho Ebubeogu said in an interview that NPA’s refusal to renew the stevedoring companies’ contract was in line with the current port reforms and laws governing activities at the ports.
According to him, “NPA does not have any security staff on ships any longer.
“It is no more the responsibility of NPA but terminal operators according to ISPS code to employ security details on board.