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Maritime workers threaten to shut down nation’s ports



Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, yesterday called the Federal Government to compel the International Oil Companies, IOCs, to obey the Marine Notice 106 of 2014 and allow stevedoring companies to deploy Dockworkers into their platforms to avoid industrial unrest.

The Government Marine Notice 106 applies to all companies and persons engaged in Stevedoring work, including Dock Labour Employers and Private Operators of any work location including Ports, Jetties, Onshore or Offshore Oil and Gas or Bonded Terminals, Inland Container Depots (ICDS), off Dock Terminal, Dry Ports and Platforms.
Specifically, Paragraph 3 of the referred Government Marine Notice 106 stipulates that: “All operators of Ports, Jetties, Onshore or Offshore, Oil and Gas or Bonded Terminals, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Offshore Dock Terminals, Dry Ports and Platforms, and other work locations are hereby given the notice to grant duly appointed Stevedoring Companies to access to their premises to commence operations.”

Speaking at the Union’s National Executive Council, NEC, in Lagos, President-General of MWUN, Prince Adeyanju Adewale, urged the government to intervene immediately to avoid a shutdown of ports operations early in the New Year, lamenting that “It is regretted that the IOCs have refused to comply with said Government Marine Notice 106, since 2014 when it was issued.”

He said “The International Oil Companies, 1OCs, have persistently disobeyed our extant stevedoring regulations that stipulate that they employ the services of stevedoring companies licensed by NPA to work in their Oil and gas platforms, this is in spite of our numerous engagements to get them to conform to our regulating labour laws and standard.

Consequently, we are compelled to use this occasion to call on the government to compel these IOCs to respect our sovereign laws in accordance with global standards in other to prevent disruptions in service delivery in these formations whether offshore or onshore. We have been on this issue for more than four years. We are aware that some of the IOCs have complied, while others have not. We cannot continue like this. We are being pushed to the wall. It is important we are not compelled to begin the New Year with industrial unrest.”

Prince Adewale also noted that “Arising from the insecurity in our nation’s seaport concerning the unauthorised persons accessing the vessels that berth in our nation’s seaport (stowaways), illicit cargo, etc coming into our seaport in the absence of Tally clerks and on board ship gangway men that are statutorily assigned to man security on board vessels, we humbly wish to call for the resuscitation of the Pool system in all ports to checkmate influx of illegal persons into the port and prevent under declaration of tonnage/cargo that comes into our ports.”

Speaking, the Director-General, of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, among others, appealed to the leadership of MWUN, to give the government more time to address the issue, promising that the right thing would be done.

According to him, “There is a law or rule, you must obey it, and you must obey the standard. We will meet including the IOCs and the Union to resolve the issue in accordance with the law to move the sector forward.”


Stallion Nigeria debunks owing GTB N13 billion




Stallion Nigeria Limited has denied owing Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) N13 billion.

Reacting to reports in a statement signed by Samar Sapre, chief financial officer of Stallion Nigeria, the company said: “Our attention has been drawn to an article circulating around in the media alleging that Stallion is indebted to GTB to the tune of N13 billion. The publication is false and the works of mischief makers as no such debt exists.

“Stallion has been in court with GTB since 2019 over allegations and claims with Stallion winning against GTB at the Court of Appeal, Nigeria. The matter is yet in court and to that extent remains subjudice.

“As a law-abiding corporate entity with faith in the Nigerian judiciary, we refrain from commenting on a matter that is subjudice except to clarify that the publication is false, mischievous and a ploy to smear the unblemished reputation of Stallion.

“We implore the general public to ignore the publication as there is no such court verdict existing anywhere as alleged in the publication. The matter is still pending in court.”

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Kaduna CAN chairman calls for arrest of bank officials over cash scarcity




Joseph Hayab, chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has called for the arrest and prosecution of bank officials hoarding the new naira notes.

His statement came amid the scarcity of the new naira notes across the country — a situation that is heightening tension and causing hardship for Nigerians.

Hayab, who spoke in Kaduna on Sunday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the direction of the policy aimed at deterring vote buying.

The cleric said the Central Bank of Niger(CBN) should do everything possible to make the currency available to end the hardship.

“Notwithstanding CAN believe that despite the temporary pains Nigerians face, the citizenry is prepared to support the president on the matter of the deadline, especially if it would assist to ease the tension in the country,” he said.

“Therefore, managers of banks who are found to hoard the new naira notes to create artificial scarcity, but are behind the public arena helping money-bag politicians to get the new notes, set the public up against the CBN’s new policy.

“Such banks and bankers should be investigated, and if found culpable, be made to face the wrath of the law.

“CAN will continue to sensitize and mobilize our faithful to support any programme which results could bring about good service delivery for a better nation.”

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‘Bank officials sell naira notes to us’ — PoS operators explain increase in charges




Point of sale (PoS) operators have claimed that bank officials sell cash (both old and new naira notes) to them.

In separate interviews with NAN in Abuja on Friday, some of the operators said they pay an exorbitant fee which depends on the amount withdrawn.

To make up for the extra expense, they explained that they had no choice but to increase the charges paid by customers.

They further appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to penalise banks involved in the act.

An operator along Nyanya-NNPC road, who preferred anonymity, said she paid the extra charge to keep her business going.

”I paid a very high amount to get this money that I am giving to customers. If you look around here, other operators did not open,” she said.

”The woman (bank official) that I collect money from even increased the money today because she said that cash is scarce and she kept it for me because I called her earlier to do so.

”I pay according to the amount I collect. Sometimes, I pay as high as N5,000 for N50,000 to N70,000 that I collect from her.

”I charge N500 for every N5,000 withdrawn and N1000 for every N10000 withdrawn for me to recover what I spent to collect the money.”

Also speaking, Nnedi Ikonye, a PoS operator along Lugbe, said she paid N3,000 for withdrawing N65,000 in a bank.

”I was asked to pay N3,000 for the N65,000 that I withdrew from a bank and that is because I know someone in that bank,” Ikonye explained.

“That is just a token compared to what my colleagues are paying. They pay more because they don’t know people in the bank.”

Alphonsus Idah, a PoS operator at Mararaba market, urged the CBN to impose sanctions against banks who persist in selling cash to their customers.

This, he explained, would stop the untold hardship faced by citizens.

Another PoS operator, who pleaded anonymity, alleged that bank officials usually withdraw money for their clients.

“In some banks, ATM will not work even though they are loaded with cash,” the operator said.

“During close of work, the bankers will turn the machine on and queue to withdraw from the machine.

“The annoying thing is that one banker can hold like 10 different ATM cards and will withdraw from all of them. This is frustrating.”

In a bid to address long queues at automated teller machines (ATMs), the CBN had directed banks to commence payment of redesigned notes over the counter, with a daily limit of N20,000.

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