APM terminals operations have been suspended for 24hours by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), following the disruption of normal business activities at the terminals by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria in Lagos.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in a statement on Thursday 15th April 2021, confirmed that the disruption of normal business activities at the APM terminals was due to the dispute between the management of AP Moller Terminals at the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa, and members of the Maritime Workers Union.
NPA to forestall further disruption or damages, decided to suspend the receiving and exit of cargoes at the APM terminals.
The statement said:
“While the Authority is working towards resolving the dispute between the two parties, APMT will not be able to receive or exit cargoes for the next 24 hours.
The Authority hereby calls on stakeholders to please take note as ETO tickets will not be issued to APMT bound cargoes,” the statement by NPA added.
The latest development is coming days after the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the management of APM Terminals, the largest cargo terminals in Africa, to rescind the sack of Nigerian workers and their replacement with foreigners or face industrial unrest.
In a letter addressed to the Managing Director of APM Terminals, dated March 22, the Secretary of MWUN, Felix Akingboye, warned that at the expiration of the ultimatum, if the management failed to reverse the sack, the union would have no choice than down tools and cripple its operations.
The union also intimated the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and other stakeholders of the development and the looming industrial unrest.
It was gathered that employment of the foreign security personnel was done without the knowledge of General Manager (Security) NPA, Department of the State Security Service, DSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, among others.
MWUN accused three consultants from South Africa and Britain that work for CRG, a sister company to G4S, of being behind the sack and replacement of Nigerian security personnel with foreign security personnel without the knowledge and approval of appropriate agencies and security.
The union had earlier insisted that the engagement of the foreigners after sacking Nigerian was a breach of the agreement reached between the Union and AMP Terminal management which stated that “In the event of a further need for outsourcing in the operations, the MWUN and management of APMT will discuss and reach an agreement.”
According to the union, the foreigners were engaged on Thursday, March 18, claiming that this action “is a threat to national security.
“Security is also very paramount in this trying period of seeming growing incidences of breaches in security all over our nation and so capable of further contributing to its breakdown.
“Your employment of foreign expatriates to do that job which our members have been performing creditably is also in contravention of clause 6 of the said agreement with the union.
“Further reports abound of your management’s indifference to workers welfare. “Arising from the above, I have been directed to issue your management a seven-day notice effective from the date of this letter within which to reverse all anti-workers activities being embarked upon by your management.”