Workers in the maritime sector have threatened to shut down port operations across the country over what they described as unfair labour practices and illegality in port operations.
The workers also raised the alarm on the abuse of expatriate quota by multinational companies operating in the nation's seaports.
They alleged that most multinational companies that off-load vessels in the country were contravening the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act, 2007 which provides that any vessel that enters the Nigerian territorial waters must make statutory payment to the Federal Government.
President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Nted Anthony, who issued the strike threat at the weekend in Lagos lamented that some multinational companies which bring vessels into the country deliberately evade payment.
He regretted that the country was loosing huge revenue from this illegality, stressing that the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the NIMASA are aware of the situation in the ports but have failed to stand up to their responsibilities.
He warned that should this act continue unabated, the workers would be left with no other option than to shut down port operations across the country in order to draw government's attention to illegalities in port operations.
"We are worried about the illegalities in port operations. Most multinational companies that bring in vessels into the country evade payment thereby contravening the NIMASA Act 2007. What we are witnessing is a situation where by multinational companies bring in goods into the country, offload the goods and run away without recourse to statutory payment.
"We have made this known to the transport minister and have also drawn the attention of NPA and NIMASA to the situation in the port but they have not been able to stand up to their responsibilities.
"Should this continue, we will shut down port operations across the country to draw government's attention to illegalities in port operations," Anthony said.
Speaking further, the union president general also expressed concern over the abuse of expatriate quota by multinationals operating in the nation's seaports noting that expatiates have taken over the jobs offshore even when Nigerians have the qualifications to work there.
"Today, government is talking about unemployment but what we are witnessing at the ports is an eyesore. There are a lot of jobs in the offshore but the jobs have been taken over by expatriates even when Nigerians have the qualifications to work there," he added.