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N10.6bn debt: Maritime workers move against firm

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Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has vowed to shut down the operations of Saipem over N10.6billion ($29 million) debt for various services at the port.
President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, disclosed this in Lagos.
He explained that the company owed Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) N6.9 billion ($19.3 million) for pilotage services.
Also, he said that the company owed dockworkers N3.7 billion ($10.4 million) through Agwut A. International Limited for accumulated stevedoring services.
According to the president, the matter has been on-going for over a year, noting that the company had refused to pay.
He said: “The two weeks ultimatum given to them by NPA has elapsed and up till now, they have not called us for any meeting and this issue is generating a lot of crisis in the union because the workers thought that we have connived with the firm.
“We are planning a showdown because at our own level too, we have written, given them ultimatum and it has elapsed. We have directed our members not to do any job until they settle all the outstanding bills they owe us.”
The Executive Director, Marine and Operations of NPA, Dr. Sokonte Davies, confirmed the company’s huge debts in a letter dated November 15, 2017.
In the letter with reference number HQ/ED/M&O/OP/1130 addressed to the Managing Director of Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, Davies said that the huge indebtedness and Saipem’s lackluster attitude to meeting its financial obligations for the pilotage and stevedoring services was capable of stoking industrial crisis at the port.

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