The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has questioned the template adopted by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to implement the recent salary increase for the staff members of the Authority.
The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, had in January 2023 announced the federal government’s approval for a salary increase for NPA workers after 18 years of stagnation.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) secretariat in Lagos on Friday, President of NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero accused the NPA of perpetrating fraud by not providing a template to implement the salary increase.
He asked the union to write to the NPA to negotiate the salary increase, putting into consideration the rising inflation and high costs of goods and services.
In his words, “If they (NPA) increase salary after 18 years but there is no template for its implementation, then it is fraud. It is confusing. NPA must come out with a template because some people will tell you they have increased salary and they put 2,000 for everybody, that is an increase but it does not follow the due process.
“Even if you go into the current salary with the cost-of-living index you will find out 18 years ago, what was the cost of bread then and today. We have to consider all these things. If they (NPA) have increased salary, that is an award or bonus. Let the union write them for us to negotiate the salary.
“If NPA on their own decides to give us money, we will write to them and thank them for the money and ask them to let us sit down and negotiate. Look at how much we have missed in the past 18 years and where are we going from here otherwise they will kill industrial relations in the sector, collective bargaining and negotiations. The both parties must sit down to agree on what we are asking for and what they can give us.”
Ajaero reiterated the need for the government to prioritize the welfare of maritime workers saying that workers cannot continue to be at the receiving end of anti labour practices.
The NLC boss also demanded clarification from the minister of Transportation on whose responsibility it is to review port concession agreement.
Earlier, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, said, “Workers that have contributed to the growth of the NPA just have their salaries reviewed last month after 18 years but we don’t know the template complied with to review this salary. We need to know.”