MWUN, SSASCGOC Kick Against FG’s Directive On 50% Automatic Deduction From NPA’s IGR, Threaten Strike Action
…favour a 30% deduction
… said it’s detrimental to the development of the ports
…would weigh heavily on dilapidated ports infrastructures
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) Maritime Branch and Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria , (MWUN) have rejected FG’s Directive to the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA and all other Federal Government Owned Enterprises (FGOES) on a 50% automatic deduction from their internally generated revenue. The Unions have therefore called on the Federal Government to allow NPA retain 70% of its IGR in other to maintain, replace and provide needed infrastructures in the Ports as a self funding government Agency, as they opined that the impact of a 50% deduction would be catastrophic.
Addressing the media today in Lagos, the Unions, ably represented by their leaders: Comrade Akionla Bodunde president SSASCGOC and Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, President – General, MWUN, were quoted to have said,
“Our attention has been drawn to the Federal Ministry of Finance’s (FMF) circular Ref FMFCME/OTHERS/IGR/CFR/21/2023 dated 28th December, 2023 addressed to all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies/Parastatals on automatic deduction of 50% from internally generated revenue.
We have carefully studied this circular especially as it relates/affects the Nigerian Ports Authority and hasten to express our displeasure over same on the following grounds.
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is a self-funded Government Agency which receives zero allocation from the Government budget and taking a chunk of 50% of its internally generated revenue will as a matter of fact stall or impede the effective discharge of its corporate responsibilities and the consequential effect of this will not be friendly .
They alluded that the core mandate of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will be greatly hampered, there by stalling it’s ability to
Constant Dredging of our Port Channels which are probably the shallowest in the West Africa Sub region, especially the Eastern Ports channels, which require constant dredging without which vessels cannot be easily piloted to berth. According to the Unions, Dredging of the Ports channels require huge financial outlay. This will be pretty difficult to achieve when 50% of its internally generated revenue is removed. The resultant effect, they said, will lead to ship owners diverting their vessels to our neighboring countries where ease of doing business is provided.
They also posited that almost all the Ports Quay Aprons are in bad shape due to old age and they therefore constitute grave danger not only to men but also to equipment. “We had at one time or the other expressed fear over the dilapidated condition of our Ports Quay Aprons. Maintaining and sustaining healthy Quay Aprons is capital intensive and if our Quay Aprons are this bad now, one can only imagine what the situation would look like when NPA is denied 50% of its revenue. We need to be proactive as our neighboring countries are very ready to capitalize on our inability to provide the required infrastructure to attract ship owners.”
Continuing, they maintained that the
Maintenance of Ports, Jetties and Terminals: Maintenance of Ports, Jetties and Terminals is also capital intensive. “Presently all the infrastructures in our Ports, Jetties and Terminals are in decrepit position, yawning for urgent repairs. How would they then look like when the Authority is denied 50% of its internally generated revenue? The situation is better imagined than described.”
They argued that the
discharge of Corporate Social Responsibilities by Nigerian Ports Authority may be greatly affected, in
hostile environments, especially in the Eastern axis. (Niger Delta). “Discharge of corporate social responsibilities overtime have immensely doused their restiveness and has fostered clement environment for the Authority and other stakeholders to enforce Automatic deduction of 50% of its internally generated revenue shall definitely make the Authority, financially Incapacitated to discharge these responsibilities to the hot beds which may lead them to resort to unhealthy activities as witnessed years back.”
Also among the Chief reasons for asking for stay of action on the 50% deduction is staff Welfare Issues, which according to them are issues that require urgent attention; failure of which usually lead to Inclement industrial atmosphere. Hence, automatic deduction of 50% revenue internally generated will incapacitate the Authority from prompt attendance to staff welfare matters which will lead to avoidable crises.
The Unions, MWUN, SSASCGOC therefore resolved to plead with the FG for a 30% deduction or risk withdrawal of their services.
In their words,
“We recommend that 30% of the revenue internally generated by the Authority could be automatically deducted whilst 70% is left for the Authority to accomplish its overhead costs and statutory responsibilities, failure of which the Union would have no other option than to withdraw the services of its members from all Ports formations nationwide.”