The President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewake Adeyanju has said that, the eras of drugs trafficking, turning the ports upside and down in other to drive home points is no longer in the Unions dictionary.
Comrade Adeyanju said that being a dockworker is no longer an all comers affair as they cannot be likened to touts.
Comrade Adeyanju made this known in the Union Secretariat in Lagos during a visit of the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) to the union. .
Adeyanju who described dockworkers as very decent and hardworking people duly registered with specified conditions of service also said that the dockworkers as very reformed and transformed professionals.
The Maritime.Union leader hinted that the union have resolved to always ensure its members avoid involvement in illicit drug and other unlawful deals in the ports.
He however threatened that any member of the union found to be involved in drug business under any guise will lose their membership and be made to face full wrath of the law.
Advising members to be contented with their wages, Adeyanju said ” Our members are urged to avoid greed and live with their legitimate earnings. Wealth from drugs will lead them into trouble. It is bound to vanish the way it came.
“We are improving on our wages every two years and we won’t relent in working for the welfare of workers. Any members of the Union caught with drugs or involving in illicit drug business will lose his or her membership and face wrath of the law” he said.
Comrade Adeyanju however requested the union be part of the team for more efficient operations while hinting that the union is very much behind the laudable job being done by General Muhammad Buba Marwa, Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in ridding the country and ports of illicit drug trade.
In his speech, the National Coordinator of Port Standing Task Team(PSTT) Moses Fadipe, said the team is set out to address the many challenges that have made Nigerian ports less attractive and caused Nigerian importers to patronize neighbouring countries.
Mr Moses Fadipe disclosed yhat the committee has been monitoring activities in the ports and terminals to ensure delays caused by abuses in the course of inspection and cargo examination are prevented
The monitoring, according to Fadipe runs from vessel berthing to departure in order to achieve good ship turn around time and prevent indiscriminate boarding of vessel by government officials.
He added that in ordet to achieve proper coordination, agencies have been allotted number of officials and specified time to be spent on boarded vessels. According to him, Port Health are allowed 3 officers to board a vessel and spend maximum of 45 minutes.
He added that Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service Customs are allotted 2 and 3 officers on joint boarding respectively to spend a maximum of 30 minutes
He disclosed that the officials have been notified to indicate in writing any time they had cause to spend more than the allotted time periods onboard ships in the ports.
He said further that with the time saving intervention of the team, APMT Apapa now examine 185 cargoes daily with efficient crowd control system unlike the initial 125 containers per day.
Responding to the Unions request to be added to the team, Fadipe said “My second request which is not a request per se because in your response to my letter, you made it very clear why MWUN should be part of this task team.
“And I am saying with effect from today, MWUN under the leadership of comrade Adeyanju has been brought into the Port Standing Task Team
“In the next 48 hours, we are going to send to your office, the letter confirming such status.” he said.
PSTT is the body inaugurated by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to drive the contents of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual launched in December, 2020 and commenced operation in 2021.
The team was inaugurated to ensure standard procedures are followed by concerned parties in carrying out transactions at the port and specifically to enable Nigeria improve its ranking on the global Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
The team comprises of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) as lead agency, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Service (DSS)