Economic activities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) have been disrupted as the Marítime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), shut workers out of the port.
The shut down was in response to the two-day warning strike embarked upon by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), over the escalating hardship and suffering across the country caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.
The Apapa and Tin-Can Island seaport gates were all locked. Also, in the the midst of the chaos, the Mile 2 road experienced a standstill as vehicles refused to transport commuters, leading to disruptions in some offices in the Apapa area.
Reports has it that the NLC had initiated a two-day warning strike and the action which commenced, on Tuesday, resulted in a crowd gathering outside the Apapa port as staff were denied entry.
Speaking, to Journalists, a transporter, Yusuf Liadi, stated that no single truck has exited or accessed the port since morning.
He, however, advised that already cleared cargoes should be allowed to exit the port because importers will accrue more demurrage and shipping charges which is also detrimental to the already fragile economy.
He said, “we are already suffering in this country infact, we are suffocating. For instance, I left my house this early morning for Apapa to transport an already cleared container to owners’ warehouse only to be told now that there is strike and no consignment will be allowed to move. This is double tragedy for the agent and importers because they will pay demurrage and storage charges to Shipping companies and terminal operators.”
“Also, government should provide palliative, the suffering is much. I spent over N5,000 to come to Apapa due to the subsidy removal, government should do something before it lead to chaos in the country.”
Also, another agitated seaport worker, Steven Ibe, expressed frustration with the federal government’s negligence towards the suffering of Nigerians. He believed that the two-day strike won’t be sufficient and suggested a complete shutdown.
“The media were not being factual with the information they sent to the public. At first, I heard of the strike, and later, I heard it wouldn’t hold. You know NLC is always not stable with their actions compared to the days of Adams Oshiomole when he was the President of the Union. But now, we no longer believe their statements; that’s why many of us were not aware of the warning strike.”