Nigeria: Unpaid Benefits - We Won't Abandon You, Labour Assures Disengaged Seafarers, Beneficiaries

11 September 2023

...Submits verified list of defunct ex-NNSL employees to FG c'ttee

Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has said it will not relent on its efforts at securing the payment of benefits for disengaged seafarers of the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line, NNSL, or their beneficiaries.

MWUN has been battling with the Federal Government and its agencies over unpaid benefits to the senior citizens and beneficiaries of defunct NNSL despite a subsisting court order that they should be paid.

A senior official of MWUN told Vanguard on condition of anonymity that the union had been unrelenting in the the battle towards ensuring that the disengaged seafarers, their next of kin or legal beneficiaries are paid their dues.

According to him, "The union recently concluded the verification of all the affected disengaged seafarers, the next of kin or the legal beneficiaries of those who have died. We invited them to Lagos and they came from all parts of the country for the verification exercise.

"At the end of the exercise, the union compiled the list and sent to the Ministerial Committee set up to address the issue. The Ministerial Committee is made of appropriate agencies of the Federation Government including Ministries of Labour and Transportation, the Union, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and others.

"We are now waiting for the committee for the next line of action. Like I said, on our part, we will not rest until those who are alive and the families of those that have died are paid their full benefits in line with the court ruling."

Not long ago, the government and MWUN signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on how to address the protracted issue.

The three-point MoU, was reached between the Federal Ministry of Transportation and MWUN after a meeting at the instance of the immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.

"The meeting was called to find a lasting solution to the lingering case of non-payment of pension and other benefits to the aged seafarers disengaged from the defunct NNSL in 1995."

According to the MoU, "After exhaustive deliberations, a nine man committee was set up to verify those who have been paid and audit payment and cost (the rate used in the payment), to determine those that are dead and date of demise and those alive, and seek guidance from Pension Transitional Administration Department, PTAD, for the payment of their pensions.

"The committee is to work and report back in two months. The meeting reconvened on the 10th of July, 2023."

Speaking more on the issue, President-General of MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, said: "There was meeting in Abuja, where the Ministries of Transportation and Labour, as well as the union were involved. A communiqué was issued setting up a committee to take the record of the aged seafarers.

"We, as a union, have set up our committee to do physical verification of all retirees and aged seafarers, so that if necessary, we can compare with our data.

"We are on course with the aged seafarers to ensure that all their benefits are paid to them. This include those that have died. It is part of the communiqué we signed with the government. They will pay to their next of kin."


Earlier, Prince Adeyanju had drawn the attention of the Federal Government to the worsening living condition of former employees of the defunct NNSL, saying they now live like destitute.

He lamented that the continued delay in the payment of pensions and other benefits of former employees of NNSL since 2008, despite a subsisting court order, has remained unbelievable.

According to him, the protracted delay in the payment of the benefits to the former staff of the defunct NNSL as well as placing them on monthly pension have left many of the aged senior citizens frustrated, besides untimely death.

Adeyanju said: "The aged seafarers and former workers of the Nigerian National Shipping Line, are dying daily and in droves. I know what they are passing if not that some of them have responsible relatives, many of them would have died.

"I will be going to Abuja to see the Minister of Transportation over the matter. In fact, I want to know the outcome of the committee he set up to work out how they are going to be paid. We have subsisting court judgement that ordered the government not pay their gratuities, other benefits and put them on monthly pensions.

"The court judgement is clear. These senior citizens have suffered untold hardship. They spent their productive lives for this country and they deserved their benefits. We will stop at nothing to ensure that they get their benefits."

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