Members pull out of maritime body over breach of agreement

There are indications that a fresh crisis of confidence has hit the Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA) as key truckers’ associations withdraw their membership from the union.

BusinessDay gathered that the crisis was due to the alleged breach of provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by members, believed to be sympathetic with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

Some of the key associations that recently withdrew their membership include the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

The primary objectives of the council include collaborating with maritime unions and associations to stem the incessant gridlocks bedeviling the access roads to the nation’s seaports.

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MWUN, in a letter sent to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and signed by Felix Akingboye, the secretary-general, drew the attention of the NPA boss to the development.

“I am directed to inform you that the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has withdrawn from the Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Association. We are constrained to take our exit from the council due to the continued breach of provisions of the council’s Memorandum of Understanding signed by members, especially the NURTW,” the letter reads in part.

Akingboye said in the letter that the NURTW has continually breached its stated understanding of curbing gridlock on port roads.

Remi Ogungbemi, chairman of AMATO, said that any claim of AMATO being a member of COMTUA is false.

“It has reached our notice that AMATO is being mentioned, printed, or paraded as a member of COMTUA. It has become expedient for us to inform relevant authorities and the public that there was never a time AMATO aligned with COMTUA, and will not be part of COMTUA,” Ogungbemi stated.

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