Maritime

NPA flouts Buharis’s directive, pays workers less than govt approved N30,000 minimum wage

NPA flouts Buharis's directive, pays workers less than govt approved N30,000 minimum wage

 

…workers decry enslavement, ill treatment.

 

Happy Diamond Age

Members of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) who fall under the junior staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have decried how the management of the agency flouts government law in payment of approved basic salaries to the workers

According to the embittered workers, such treatment was unwarranted having put in decades into the service of the agency.

At a recent meeting, the NPA staff who are members of (MWUN), expressed displeasure over how the management of the apex maritime agency has refused to upgrade their salaries to the reflect the national minimum wage signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

Begging the President General to help wade into the matter, said that their basic salaries vary between N25,000 and N28,000 monthly as against the N30,000 minimum wage which is the law of the land.

According to them, their basic salaries as staff of NPA who have worked for over twenty years in the agency, is between 25 to 28 thousand naira monthly

The basic salary is in direct negation of the bill signed into law by the President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 which stipulated that the lowest salary earner should not be less than basic of N30,000 monthly.

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Recall that in April 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the national minimum wage bill into law.

The President’s decision came after the National Assembly passed the bill approving N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

Speaking on the law, Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), said it had become compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay their workers minimum of N30,000.

While speaking, Comrade Harry Tonye, Deputy President General of MWUN who is also a staff of NPA said that NPA workers were bleeding owing to ill treatments received from the agency.

“There is nothing in NPA that we don’t know especially as it concerns the welfare of workers in NPA

“Sir, as you see our faces, nobody is smiling including me, we are bleeding..I will take that responsibility that we have not been able to come to you to brief you on these matters.

“For those of us in level 7 in NPA, 80 percent of us is above 25 years so nobody is a small boy here.

“We have suffered a lot, it is only in NPA that you will hear that you have terminal level (jamber) for 18 years, there is no increment.

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“You are supposed to move every step every year but when you get to step 12, they will not give you anything anymore they will say you have jambered.

“On long service awards, they will give you at 25 years and every year, they set up committee for long service awards and when the long service is approved or given assent, sir, before you collect the long service award for 25 years, you are already 28 years and when you clock 29 years in service, they will give you nothing.

“As it is done in other places, it is prorated, they will give at 10, 15, 20 and so on but in NPA, once they give you at 25, they will never remember you again until you leave the service. It is disheartening.

“For those of us at level seven, no going forward, no going backwards,” he lamented.

Also speaking, A. Akingbaso, Vice President, NPA branch of MWUN submitted that no staff can boast of receiving N30,000 as basic salary.

“Let me tell you the truth sir, we are suffering in NPA. Since the 2004 that we are talking about, nobody here can say he is collecting 30 thousand as basic salary.

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“Our salary is less than minimum wage, all of us that are here. And when you want to retire, they will not base it on your allowances but on the basic salaries.

“Please sir, we need your help because our basic salaries are between 25 and 28 thousand naira. The salary is too poor. They pay N200 per hour for overtime because they will give you N20,000 per month.

When contacted, General Manager, Corporate & Strategic Communications, Oyinlola Oluwayemisi, she requested that the questions be sent to her mail.

Almost a week after, the GM failed to respond to questions sent to her email.

 

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