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lawmakers marítime workers kick over npas 50 federation account remittances

Lawmakers, Marítime Workers Kick Over NPA's 50% Federation Account Remittances

In other to be able to meet up with the rehabilitation of the dilapidated port infrastructure at the Tin-Can Island and Apapa port, the House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbour, Marítime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies Branch (SSASCGOC), said operational agency like the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), should be exempted from remitting 50 per cent of its gross Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the federation account. Recall that the Federal Ministry of Finance had directed agencies and parastatals to remit 50 per cent of their gross internally generated revenue (IGR) to the SRA — a sub-component of the CRF. Previously, self-funded agencies were allowed to claim up to 50 per cent of their revenue as expenditure and keep 20 per cent of the balance as ‘operating surplus’ — the excess of revenue over expenditure. However, speaking to journalists, the Committee Chairman, Hon. Nnoli Nnaji, lamented the dilapidated state of the two seaports, saying rehabilitation should be of top priority to the federal government. According to Nnaji, the port needed total rehabilitation and reconstruction and the federal government can only generate more revenue from the port if they are efficient and effective. “The NPA is not just a revenue generating agency but also an operational agency. Also, NPA revenue increases when the ports are efficient and I believe that it’s not just about NPA remitting 50% but about the effectiveness and efficiency of the Port so we should be more concerned about the efficiency of the port. “The port needs total rehabilitation and reconstruction and if NPA is seeking loan, how do they pay back?” Nnaji, a member representing Nkanu East/Nkanu West Federal Constituency of Enugu State. Even if NPA will remit, there should be a consolidated account that can hold the funds till when they will need it for rehabilitation and to have more revenue to remit because the most important thing today is the reconstruction of the port and should they remit 50 percent and the place collapses, they can’t even remit 10 percent to the federal government,” he warned. Also, the president of SSASCGOC, Com. Akinola Bodunde and President-General, MWUN, Com. Adewale Adeyanju, said the deduction will lead to financial constraints and operational disruptions for the authority. Com. Bodunde, however, explained that with the NPA being a self-funded entity reliant on its IGR, a 50 per cent reduction would spell disaster for its operational capabilities. He said tasks vital to maritime operations, such as dredging port channels and maintaining infrastructure, would be severely compromised, leading to potential disruptions in vessel traffic and port activities. He added that the deduction is a threat to workforce and community relations Moreover, he said the proposed deduction poses a significant threat to workforce development and corporate social responsibility initiatives. On his part the president general MWUN Com. Adewale Adeyanju said a well-trained workforce is essential for efficient port operations, explaining that the reduction in revenue would hinder investment in employee training and welfare. Additionally, he noted that the NPA’s ability to fulfil its obligations to host communities could be jeopardised, potentially leading to unrest and social upheaval. Adeyanju, thereafter, issued an ultimatum to the government, demanding a revision of the directive to allow for a more reasonable deduction from IGR. He suggested a 30 per cent reduction instead of 50 per cent. He expressed that should their demands not be met, they vowed to mobilise their members for nationwide strike action, effectively shutting down port operations across the country.

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