Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Escravos Pilots Threatens to Down Tools at Delta Ports

MEMBERS of the Escravos Ship pilots, a group of marine pilots, have threatened to stop providing pilotage services to vessels that calles at the Delta ports following the inability of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to meet ts financial obligation to them.

The development, according to some of the pilots, has brought untold hardship to them and their families as their children have been sent out of school because of their inability to pay their childrens' fees

Speaking to Vanguard on the development, the Director of Operations of the Escravos Ship Pilots Nigeria Limited, Capt Solomon Prebo said that the authority has not remitted monies to its accounts for more then six months adding that their children have been sent out of school as result of the non-payment of their dues.

He stated the letter of appeal is the last the group will write to the management of the authority, adding that if after the stipulated time of two weeks, they may have no other choice than to stop providing pilotage services to vessels that calls at the Delta ports.

He explained that for more than six months, the firm has not received a dim from NPA, adding that because the firm has an agreement with the authority, it cannot afford to down tools.

Part of the letter reads " We write to officially complain about the non-payment of agreed remuneration by the Nigerian Ports Authority to the Escravos Ship Pilot Nigeria Limited for over ten months.b "The remuneration covers pilotage services rendered Escravos Ship Pilot Nigeria Limited on the agreed term of twenty (20%) percent of ship dues collected on each vessel handled by our company, which for over ten months now have not been paid to us despite the monthly reconciliation of records bt the coordinating committee.

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