Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria(MWUN) has alleged that the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola has not been carrying the Union along since he assumed office about five months ago.
Adeyanju who described maritime workers numbering over 20000 as critical stakeholders, alleged that the maiden stakeholders meeting Oyetola held in Lagos was without representatives from the union as they were not invited.
He added that attempts to meet with the minister has not worked as he seems to be shielded away by wrong advisers, who do not mean well for the industry and Nigeria.
He added that those giving the minister wrong advise will abandon him to bear the blames for their actions as such persons don’t mean well for the country. He described the minister as an experienced person with good private and public sector exposure while advising him to avoid being hijacked.
The union leader expressed optimism that the union will meet with the minister someday and reveal more maritime industry issues to him for the betterment of the country
“He has Advisers, guiding him wrongly.Those ones who believe they know more than all of us here .Those ones that when they run the industry into problems, they will leave the minister to bear the blames alone .
“As a union, we rehabilitated and transformed ourselves to a standard where we strategically contribute in building the maritime industry in Nigeria. We state facts as they are and we don’t look at people’s faces before saying the truth on what will benefit workers and the country at large.
We are all stakeholders and we have all contributed to the system and growth of the port business.
“I visited some ports and discovered that they are better than that of some other African countries.We have our own contributions to support the new Minister of Marine and Blue Economy.It is like the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is a new ministry but to us that are old in the system and knows about it, it is not new to us .It is just that it is an old wine in a new bottle and change of name.
“I believe some people are blocking us from seeing the Minister.Why are they afraid? They felt we will expose their attitude before the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy.We don’t have time for them.What we have time for is the welfare of our members and growth of our industry to the benefit of Nigeria.We are for the Ministry and the Ministry is for us.
“They organized stakeholders meeting, someone asked me that they didn’t see the union there. I replied that those guiding the minister didn’t invite us . Can I just go there uninvited and start saying I am representing Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria , when invitation was not given to us?
“Without the workers,we cannot have Port Industry.Without the port industry, no workers. All of us are social partners.There is know how someone will say the Minister is shutting his door against the Union.He cannot shut his door against us. When time comes he will open the door.Someone must be holding the key.We are waiting for the day when the Minister will invite us and we will open up what is going on to him” Adeyanju said