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Maritime workers threaten shutdown over planned 50% NPA revenue reduction

Maritime workers threaten shutdown over planned 50% NPA revenue reduction
February 13
08:41 2024

Maritime workers have warned of a potential nationwide strike if the federal government continues with the proposed 50 percent automatic deduction from revenue accrued to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The workers made the threat in a joint statement by the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria(MWUN) in Lagos.

In January, the federal government issued a circular directing “automatic” 50 percent remittance of the total revenue of all its self-funded enterprises.

Previously, self-funded agencies, also called “Super Agencies”, were allowed to claim up to 50 percent of their revenue as expenditure and keep 20 percent of the balance as “operating surplus” — the excess of revenue over expenditure.

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The implementation of the policy had followed a presidential directive, according to a circular from the ministry of finance, dated December 28, 2023.

In the statement signed by Akinola Bodunde (SASCGOC) and Adewale Adeyanju (MWUN), the presidents of the two unions, the workers said they had written a letter to the president regarding the development.

According to the unions, failure to rescind the decision would lead to workers’ withdrawal and total shutdown of ports nationwide.

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“Automatic deduction of 50 per cent of its internally generated revenue shall leave the Authority financially incapacitated to discharge these responsibilities to the host community, which may lead them to resort to unhealthy activities,” the statement reads.

“We recommend that 30 percent of the revenue internally generated by the Authority could be automatically deducted whilst 70 per cent 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.”

Speaking on behalf of the unions, Bodunde, president of SASCGOC, emphasised the significant financial consequences that such a deduction would have on the operational capabilities of the NPA. 

He said with the NPA being a self-funded entity reliant on its IGR, a 50 percent reduction would affect its operational capabilities.

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The reduction in revenue, Bodunde said, could jeopardise crucial maritime operations such as dredging port channels and maintaining infrastructure, ultimately affecting vessel traffic and port activities.

He said workforce development and community relations will be at risk due to the potential consequences of the proposed deduction.

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