Barge Accident: You are doing your master’s bidding, Ndigboamaka replies Merchant Navy union


Following the reaction of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association to a call by stakeholder groups on Monday for the immediate resignation of some maritime agency heads over a recent barge accident in Lagos, Ndigboamaka Progressives (Traders) Association has accused the association of being biased and doing its master’s bidding at all cost.

Speaking in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday, the Secretary General of Ndigboamaka Progressive (Traders) Association, Hon. Chinedu Ukatu observed that “reading the swift reaction of the Merchant Navy Senior Staff Association, at first we considered it as the voice of biased sets or some individuals doing its master’s biding at all costs.”

Ukatu however submitted that knowing that the privileged Senior Staff Association was also a victim of a spoilt system; they had to be reasonable and appreciate their handicap and that of its members over the years.

He pointed out that needless to pick issues with the association, but to appreciate it for sympathizing with their members even as “we pray that the executives and its members don’t suffer great loss in their endeavors due to administrative nonchalance and negligence.”

He however corrected the notion as expressed by the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officer and Water Transport Senior Staff Association President, when he used the words, “Freight Forwarders Remarks”, that the press release so referenced was a joint resolution and position of organizations with cargo interest of which Ndigboamaka Progressive (Traders) Association, the umbrella body of major market associations in Lagos was part of.

“It’s noteworthy that our members are mostly the cargo owners who are victims of this unfortunate incidence. May we also charge the privilege association, that merchant (which is cargo) is the key basis for its professional inclination, as such they are in a better position to defend and protect cargo as a core interest in the trade and security supply chain”, he said.

While appreciating the association for its solidarity in the canvass for adequate compensation in this regards, he reiterated that, they (cargo owners) were greatly choked by the prevailing port system and its inherent challenges in the face of managerial ineptitude.

“We therefore call on well-meaning stakeholders to join hands to make our port an ideal business friendly and prompt regulatory environment”, he surmised.

It will be recalled that stakeholder groups comprising of the Shippers’ Association Lagos State, Ndigboamaka Progressive (Traders) Association, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria, Congregation of Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria, African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, Justice and People-Care Foundation and the Sea Empowerment and Research Centre in a press conference on Monday called for the resignation of the heads of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority over alleged regulatory ineptitude leading to a barge accident recently in Lagos.

Not satisfied with the call for the resignation of the named maritime agencies’ heads, the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association described the call by the groups as bias and unprofessional.

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