How IOCs Undermine Govt Directives – Stevedores

By Frank Odinukaeze

How IOCs Undermine Govt Directives - Stevedores

The National Association of Stevedoring Operators ((NASO) has alleged that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) undermine the nation’s economy through their illegal activities especially their refusal to implement Federal Government’s directive to engage Nigerian stevedores in their on shore off shore operations.

The President of NASO, Bolaji Sunmola, who stated this at a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday added that

the former transport minister Rotimi Amaech,had in a meeting comprising all the managing directors of all the IOCs:Mobile,Shell,Total and others, in attendance directed them to implement the agreement reached in 2018,over the employment of Nigerian stevedores in their operations.

Amaechi who was said to be visibly angry over the recalcitrance of the IOCs, having been informed by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA) that the IOCs have refused to comply with the government directive,gave the IOCs six days to implement the directive.

But the 6 days had turned to one year before the first implementation, Sunmola said.

He said the IOCs have the penchant for flouting the laws of the land. “What they are doing here they cannot do it in their own country.When you take issues there ,they’ll say to you ‘we have to report to our home country, who in turn will talk to Buhari,”

he said.

What is so disturbing is that the IOCs operate in Nigeria,but take instructions from their home countries over issues that bother on Nigeria’s economy.

“Before any decision is taken on IOCs it must get to the presidency.We v”e had occasions where the management of IOCs will say to us ,we will report to our government not Nigerian government.We will report to home country, “he said.

He noted that most of the MDs of these IOCs companies are mere puppets as they cannot take decisions on their own.

Sunmola noted the IOCs are so powerful that sometimes when you want to talk to their staff ,they’ll be shivering and beg you not to quote them.

He said Nigeria is grappling with unemployment, while millions and thousands of jobs are lost through IOCs.

He recalled several struggles that they underwent with the IOCs before they were able to get to where they are today.

“If we had known that the IOCs would be this difficult,may be we would have been discouraged because we thought we were fighting companies,we thought we are here,but we are actually being controlled from abroad.And little things you want,they’ll say we will have to get Washington.We’ll have to get London .This is what they do always. Nobody wants to see us.We had a letter from NPA and as government agency there is minimal thing they could do.That is what led us into advocacy and more commitment.We were talking and organizing seminars at our own expense.If we tell you how much money we have put into this,to get where we are today without any government support ,you’ll be shocked.We have not put the cost together and somebody is now saying I collected N70 million to do what?Where did that come from?To me, it’s a total annihilation of the association and my person , because my name was mentioned” he said .

The NASO President said the allegation of fraud against him and his executives was completely unfortunate.He noted that in2017,when NPA did the last publication on engagements of stevedores ,NASO did not make any input,contrary to the allegation that he influenced the insertion of N250,000 application fee into the publication.

He said N250,000 application fee was the sole act of NPA and one of the 14 conditions for qualification.The other condition by NPA is that the applicant must have foreign partners.We, as NASO, never played any part in all of these.

Sunmola also informed that his association has changed from National Association of Stevedoring Companies ( NASC) to National Association of Stevedoring Operators(NASO) in line with international best practices.

Check Also

Nigeria, 16 others begin test-run of single air transport market treaty

Nigeria, 16 others begin test-run of single air transport market treaty

•We are not aware, local airlines say Nigeria and 16 African countries have agreed to …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× Get News Alert