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Global West staff threaten to picket NIMASA over unpaid salaries 

Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA DG
Eyewitness reporter

The aggrieved  350 seafarers and staff of Global West Specialist Limited have vowed to march on the headquarters of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over the refusal of the agency to validate the contract of the company and pay the backlog of salaries owed the workers.

In an open letter to  President Muhammadu Buhari, a copy of which was sighted by our correspondent, the staff, who are apparently despondent and aggrieved, said they would make good their threat if, by September 30th, 2021, the President does not intervene and prevail on NIMASA to remedy the situation.
It would be recalled that Global West Specialist Limited, said to belong to the former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo otherwise known as Tompolo, was engaged by NIMASA under the administration of the then DG, Dr Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, to provide platforms for the agency in its quest to secure the nation’s waters.
However, the contract said to be worth billions of Naira, was terminated in 2015 when Buhari, on resumption of office as the President, directed NIMASA to stop further payment to Global West.
But the staff of the company, in the petition signed by one Samson Owolo, claimed that the matter was taken to court and resolved in favour of the company.
The petitioners however alleged that the Federal government has refused to obey the court order which reinstated the contract, a situation which they said has resulted in the non-payment of the backlog of their salaries and the death of some of them.
The petition  reads thus:
“Dear President, this letter is coming from (three hundred and fifty) 350 seafarers and staff of Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, the major contractors to NIMASA.

“Dear President, sometime in June 2015 you ordered NIMASA to stop payment to Global West Vessel Specialist until the investigation from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is over.

“An order that place more than (three hundred and fifty) 350 seafarers to the labour markets was a terrible experience for good 5-6 yrs 2015 -2021.

” Workers’ salaries have been held down by the government that lead (sic) to the loss of lives of many seafarers working with Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd.

“Our kids were (are) out of school because there is no more money to pay for their school fees, we the staff of Global West Vessel Specialist as law-abiding citizens we (have) waited patiently from 2015 -2020 June 15th after the court case was over between Global West Vessel Specialist and the EFCC.

“We are in 2021 now; we are yet to receive our salaries. According to our management, the government is yet to approve the money to Global West Vessel Specialist, for the past one year and seven months now.

“We are still waiting for the government to approve payment to the Global West Vessel Specialist.

“How long more are the workers going to wait for their salaries? Staff are dying because of the hardship in the country, our families are suffering; what sin did we commit that deserves this kind of punishment from the government?

“Even after we have won the case in the court, someone in the government still decided to punish innocent staff that have laboured for the betterment of this country by forcefully refusing to approve the payment to Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd.

” Even with all the efforts from Global West to make the government see reasons, the government keeps making it more difficult for Global West Vessel Specialist to receive their payment.

“We the staff say enough is enough; we can’t keep quiet and keep dying one after the other. We don’t know who is next in line.

“We are coming out in mass(sic) to protest, a peaceful protest, to NIMASA headquarters at 4 Burma Road, Apapa on the 30th September 2021”, the workers declared in the petition

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Headlines

Sambo commends Bello- Koko over NPA’s revenue increase 

 

— reiterates commitment to Lekki deep seaport project
The Eyewitness reporter
The Minister of Transportation,  Engr Muazu Sambo, has lauded the efforts of Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), which he said have made the agency as one of the highest revenue-generating organs of government in the maritime industry.
Making the commendation recently during his visit to the agency, Sambo said he was impressed by the positioning of the port industry and the turn- around strides of the NPA MD in the agency which he said has caught the attention of the federal government.

The Minister, who was accompanied by the Hon. Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transportation Dr. Magdalene Ajani, some Directors and other top officials of the Ministry, stated that the Muhammadu Buhari -led administration was quite pleased with the reforms being implemented by the NPA Management in moving the nation forward, especially in view of the positive developments the sub-sector brought to the nation’s economy in line with international best practices.

“The Muhammadu Buhari- led administration was quite elated with Bello -Koko and his management team for their efforts at resuscitating and boosting the  economy,  especially the Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) which has cushioned the  effects of the  resources of the nation that have nosedived as a result of  the fall in the prices of crude oil”

Sambo also solicited further cooperation from other relevant stakeholders, while assuring them and the maritime community of the readiness of the government to provide the enabling environment and support to make the industry thrive and attract foreign investments.

” MD,  I must state that Council is happy with you and your team. I  commend you and your management team for your efforts in moving the nation forward, especially in the area of an increase in revenue generation to government coffers.
” You have done well, but I call on you to further block all other grey areas .”

Engr. Sambo further reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to ensuring that the Lekki Deep Seaport project commences operations as scheduled before the end of 2022.

According to him, the Lekki Deep Seaport and the recently approved Badagry Deep Sea Port would create an avenue for jobs for Nigerians,  encourage trade and investments and further boost revenue generation for the country.

The Minister further called on his host to ensure the full implementation of barge operations at the Ports to further facilitate the movement of goods from the seaports.

He said this would also be beneficial to the nation in the area of more jobs for those in the business of fabrication as well as reduce the cost of doing business by investors.

” We are ready to assist you in ensuring that the use of barges is fully implemented in your operations.
” We need to work the talk whilst we wait for the conclusion of other means of evacuation of boxes from the ports to cushion the effect of logistics through land transportation”

Earlier,  Bello Koko informed his guests of his management’s resolve to further position the nation’s sea ports in line with International best practices.

He appreciated the efforts of the Ministry in providing support to the Authority at all times, whilst soliciting assistance in other areas of operations.

The NPA MD assured the Minister and his team that the present management under his watch would ensure that operations of its services are further improved upon in view of the constant global competitiveness towards attaining a hub status within the sub-Sahara Africa.

Koko stated that NPA has begun the process of acquiring additional tug boats and pilot cutters for its officials to facilitate the operations.

This, he said, would further reduce vessel waiting time and attract investments to the ports.

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Headlines

Transport Minister collaborates with army, others to secure release of 23 remaining Abuja-Kaduna train attack victims

Abuja- Kaduna train attack victims

 

The Eyewitness reporter
The Minister of Transportation, Engr Muazu Sambo, has given vent to his vow to facilitate the release of the Abuja- Kaduna train attack victims when, in collaboration with other members of the seven-man Presidential  Action Committee assembled by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram Terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on 28-3-2022.
As a result of the deft negotiating skills of the members of the committee, the terrorists on Wednesday freed 23 remaining captives of the Abuja- Kaduna train attack.
This was disclosed by the Secretary of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee,  Professor Usman Yusuf.

Yusuf said that the hostages were released at about 4 pm on Wednesday.

He said that the committee took custody of the victims who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists during an attack on a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.

The terrorists, who attacked the AK9 Train in Kaduna, had before now released hostages piecemeal with the last release being on August 19, 2022.

“The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian Military under the leadership of the CDS who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish.
“All sister security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this Operation.
“The unwavering support of the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCEFR is what made it all possible.
” Members of this Committee are grateful for the rare honour and privilege to be part of this Humanitarian Operation” declared Prof. Yusuf.
The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers.
The unprecedented attack had attracted international and national outrage.

Distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.

Worried about the situation, the Nigeria Railway Corporation temporarily suspended activities, with President Muhammadu Buhari directing security agencies to rescue the victims after he met their families.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, had said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will not resume until all those kidnapped by bandits in March are rescued and reunited with their families.

A terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6, 2022, arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and returned to Nigeria the next day.

The Department of State Services had alleged that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of kidnap victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.

Popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest of Mamu.

Gumi had asked the security agency to charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, rather than keeping him in custody.

But the DSS, in its reaction, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on the ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said have remained ‘mind boggling’.

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EyeWitness Lens

Eyewitness Lens! NPA celebrates global Customer service week(Photo)

Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko
(6 th left)), Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Adenrele S. Adesina
(5 th left)), the General Manager, SERVICOM, Shehu Musa Yaro (4 th left) and
other senior officers of the NPA during the celebration of 2022 global
Customer Service Week at the NPA headquarters in Lagos.
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko
(5 th left)), Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Adenrele S. Adesina
(6 th left)), the General Manager, SERVICOM, Shehu Musa Yaro (4th left) and
officers of the SERVICOM department during the celebration of 2022
global Customer Service Week at the NPA headquarters in Lagos.
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