The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has commenced the payment of severance benefits to tally clerks and onboard security men who were sacked from the port recently.
The payment kicked off at the NPA sports complex in Surulere, Lagos, and witnessed the presence of the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Adewale Adeyanju, who personally handed over some of the cheques to the deserving dockworkers.
The payment had suffered an initial delay, which caused the dockworkers to develop a doubting mind as to the sincerity of NPA and the MWUN on disbursing the money.
Both bodies had however come out to explain that the exercise was delayed because of the verification of beneficiaries by stevedoring contractors.
THISDAY checks revealed that payment has commenced without hitches under the supervision of the NPA as well as MWUN led by Adeyanju, who commended the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of State, Mrs Gbemi Saraki for making the payment possible.
Adeyanju also thanked the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, as well as the Permanent Secretary, Minister of Transportation.
“I want to appreciate the Managing Director, NPA, for the role she played while the struggle for the payment was going on, she cooperated with us, and that is why we are able to get the money for our members, ”he said.
“It is a long struggle, but I thank God almighty who made it possible for us to get this money for our disengaged members,” he added.
The MWUN boss, however declared that the exercise would be the last of such, as henceforth and dockworker who is retiring would be paid their terminal benefits by their employers.
Adeyanju added: “I am happy to say that after this ongoing exercise, subsequent retirement benefits of dock workers will be paid by their employers, we now have a signed condition of service for all dockworkers by virtue of the NJIC agreements.
“Nigerian dockworkers now enjoy all benefits that are enjoyed by other workers in the maritime industry, we achieved all these without shutting down the ports, ”he added.
The cheques were handed over to the visibly happy dockworkers by officials of NPA and the stevedoring companies.