NPA Workers Gives 7- days ultimatum over FG deduction of 50% from Revenue

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By Innocent Orok

The senior and junior workers of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have issued seven days ultimatum to the Federal government to immediately reverse the policy on implementation of presidential directive on 50% automatic deduction from the internally generated revenue of Federal government owned enterprises.

In a letter jointly signed by the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) and Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the workers are demanding reversal of the policy or face industrial action.

In the letter, the workers seek urgent intervention saying if not curtailed, it would lead to irreversible industrial collapse and economic damage of the nation.

The letter has the signatories to include Comrade Akinola O. Bodunde​​, President, SSASCGOC, Maritime Branch, Comrade (Prince) Adeyanju Adewale, fnli, President General, MWUN, Comrade Eko Adolphus Alli, Acting General Secretary, SSASCGOC, Maritime Branch and ​​​​Comrade Felix S. Akingboye, General Secretary General MWUN.

Part of the letter reads, “We wish to reiterate our position as stated in our letter reference above thus:
The Nigerian Ports Authority, as the employer of workers who are our members, is self-funded and receives zero allocation from the government budget. This means that it needs to retain most, if not all, of the funds it generates in order to be able to continue to effectively discharge its duties, which include: Constant dredging of our Ports, Regular maintenance of our Quay Aprons, Maintenance of Ports, Jetties, and Terminals,
Man Power Development
and Discharge of Corporate Social Responsibilities.

“Without prejudice to the intentions behind the formation of policies to raise revenue for the Federal Government, it must be said that it is not advisable to introduce extractive policies to self-funding specialized entities as they will be subjected to unnecessary hardship and avoidable disruption of processes due to the revenue disruptions.

“Since it came into force, the list of negative effects of this policy of 50% Automatic Deduction is growing at an alarming rate. Suffice it to say that the 50% benchmark for deduction is too high and inimical to the well-being of the Nigerian Ports Authority. It constitutes a direct threat to its growth, its operations, and ultimately its very existence. This is because the unprecedented drop in the revenue pool has directly impacted the NPA’s ability to carry out its responsibilities, as highlighted in Paragraph 1 above.”

“The two Unions SSASCGOC and MWUN also wish to impress upon Your Excellency that the Honourable Minister of Finance, in having to combine the onerous duty to sign off on funds meant for the running of the NPA and several other government owned entities as the sole signatory authorized to do so is constituting a bottleneck to the effective running of the NPA in particular with the resultant delay in the payment of Gratuities, Rent allowance, and Salaries/Pension to workers and retirees alike.

“Our recommendation in our referenced letter was that rather than 50%, it would be more practical to deduct 30%, whilst 70% is left to the Authority to carry on its statutory duties as highlighted here

“Your Excellency, we implore you to take cognizance of our pains and the negative impact this policy and its execution mechanisms are having on the workers and Nigerian Ports Authority as an entity.

“For the avoidance of any ambiguity, the two Unions SSASCGOS and MWUN do hereby demand the following:
i) A rejig of the execution mechanisms of this policy to ensure timely actualization of the funds disbursement process; and
ii) A downward review of the new deduction from 50% to 30%.

“Failure to effect the changes we have so demanded within seven (7) days from the receipt of this letter will result in the two Unions having no further option than to proceed on an industrial action to wit: the withdrawal of the services of all our members from all the Ports nationwide.

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