LAGOS – The workers of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Thursday urged the authority to revive the dockyard at Apapa rather than allow NIPCO Plc to build a tank farm on it.
The workers, under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transportation and Corporation, told reporters in Lagos that the tank farm would deny them of their training opportunity.
Mr Umar Jimoh, the association’s branch President, said that NIPCO Plc had taken over the dockyard after the workers protested its use of as tank farm.
It would be recalled that in 2013, the NPA workers had called on the Federal Government to halt the oil company from acquiring the facility.
Jimoh said it was sad that one year later, NIPCO still intends to take over the dockyard to build a tank farm.
“The dockyard is meant for the workers implant training. We don’t have a dockyard to train and retrain staff.
“We don’t have where pilots can receive training and refresher courses.
“Even if the authority is not looking at it now, future management will make good use of the dockyard,’’ he said.
He said the interest of the nation should be the company’s priority rather than individual interest or gain.
He called on government agencies, including the NPA, NIMASA, Shippers Council and the Nigerian Customs Service to oppose the erection of more tank farms within the port area.
Jimoh said the information that the dockyard was moribund was wrong and urged the management of NPA to refurbish it for the training of its workers.
“The dockyard is not decayed, we need the place because NPA has no training school today for pilots and in-house mariners.
“Those that can be described as experts in the maritime industry grew through in-house plant.
“There is no Nigerian university where you will learn that. We learn on the job daily,’’ he said.
Efforts to get the NPA management to comment on the issue proved abortive.
But an official, who preferred anonymity, said that on Nov. 7, 2013 that NPA management was under pressure to accept NIPCO Plc’s proposal. (NAN)