NPA moves to dredge Escravos channel again

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By Oluwabunmi Ogunjimi

FOLLOWING the shallow depth of the Escravos channel, a development that has reduced the number of vessels calling at the Warri port, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has commenced moves to dredge the channel for increased port activities.

Managing Director of the Escravos Ship Pilots Nigeria Limited, ESPL, Capt Charlie Tobi, said that vessels run aground in the port almost daily.

Tobi explained that when these vessels run aground, she has to wait until there is high tide before the vessel can move again.

He also stated that with what is going on, the port has been recording low ship traffic just as the agency revenue profile from the Warri port has also dwindled.

He said: ‘‘with the shallow waters, there is less vessel traffic at the port; this has also put a stain on the projected revenue from the port.

‘‘Anyway they are working and they have said they want to dredge the channel and we are waiting for them to start the process of dredging, fix the breakwater and other needfuls.’’

Some of the effected ship owners who spoke to the Portal amidst fear of being victimized, said the low draft has become a source of worry for them because of the damage the shallow waters does to their vessels.

NIMASA, MWUN, NJIC begin negotiations of dockworkers pay increase
By Oluwabunmi Ogunjimi

THE Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, National Joint Industrial Council, NJIC, alongside other stakeholders in the maritime labour industry have commenced negotiations of the increment of dockworkers’ wages and entitlements.

It learnt series of meetings have been held before as the negotiations on the issue was still ongoing at the time of filling this report.

Confirming the development, Comrade Abdullahi Eroje, said that the negotiation is ongoing adding that most of the stakeholders that were suppose to meet travelled abroad and that as soon as they are back, the negotiations will continue.

Eroje also said that the moment all the parties involved in the negotiation are around another meeting will be called.

Similarly, the President of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, NASC, Comrade Bolaji Sunmola, said the increment is the normal biennial exercise.

Sunmola also confirmed that the negotiation was still ongoing at the time of filling this report adding that figures for increment have been proposed and tendered by all parties involved.

He noted that the negotiation is dragging, a development he also said is not pleasant to the members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria.

He said; ‘‘It’s the normal NJIC biennial negotiations, negotiation is still ongoing nothing has been agreed yet, proposal have been tendered by all parties which include the workers, unions and government that is midwifeing the process on the side of the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

‘‘The proposals have been submitted and it is being looked into, though the negotiation is dragging which the Union do not like.’’

Sunmola also disclosed that the negotiation should be concluded in the next one or two weeks adding a meeting must be held this as about four or five meetings have held over the matter.

The stevedore also disclosed that the issue between stevedoring companies and International Oil Companies will also be resolved at the meeting after that of dock workers.

He added that whatever is agreed between OICs and stevedoring companies and government will now become part of the NJIC’s laws.

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