Maritime

MWUN Lauds Oyetola for wanting to reinvent Coast Guards, says it will improve sector

...begs for immediate payments of aged seafarers, pensions laid off 18 years ago.

 

 

Segun Oladipupo

Happy Diamond Age

 

Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has lauded the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola for vowing to revisit the establishment of coast guards operations on the nation’s territorial waters.

President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju on Thursday in a chat, pointed out that the role of coast guards cannot be over emphasized in the waterways operations .

He stated that the presence of coast guards will address issues of sea robberies and incessant boat mishaps.

Adeyanju who doubles as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), maintained that coast guards would be of tremendous help to the sector.

“The union will always support any policy that will favour the maritime sector but the ones that are against the workers, we will kick against them.

“Bringing back coast guards is a welcome development and I thank him (Minister) for doing that because sea piracy has already taken over the waterways in time past.

“We don’t even know what they asked them to go in the first place but now that the minister thinks they have a role to play on the sea, I think it is better because they will be of help to the system.”

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On the issue of aged seafarers who have been laid off for 18 years but are yet to get their pensions, Adeyanju appealed to the minister to open up the case and pay up the retired seamen.

According to him, there was a judgement that mandated the government to pay the seafarers their pensions which has not been adhered to for close to two decades

He explained that it is unfortunate for government to celebrate present day Seafarers without recourse to the plight of the people that laid the foundation.

He therefore pleaded with the minister to use his good office to consider the plight of the aged seafarers among whom he said some have died.

“Actually, we have not discussed extensively but what I did was to let him know that the people that make seafaring what people are celebrating today, some of them are languishing in poverty because their pensions and gratuities have not been given to them in line with the court judgement

“The judgement said they should be paid their pensions and gratuities, what they did was to pay then their gratuities, what happened to their pensions?

“That is why the union is asking that the rights of the aged seafarers are given to them. The former Minister who left, Engr Mua’zu Sambo facilitated a meeting between transportation and labour ministries, set up committee that will carry out physical verification, but up till now, the committee has not met

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“Since the new minister came in, we have sent a letter to him highlighting the grey areas affecting my members. The issue of tally clerks and on-board security, have been made known to him

“To me, if you are celebrating seafarers, yu should equally celebrate those that contributed to 5he success and growth of seafaring in Nigeria that their rights have not been given to them for the past twenty eight years and they are dying everyday

“We are using this medium to appeal to him, we are begging him to look inward to make sure that the pensions of the retirees are paid to them. “

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