Bayelsa - The Bayelsa State Government has appealed to the State Chapter of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria to shelve their strike against the backdrop of numerous ongoing developmental and political activities requiring marine transportation.
State Special Adviser on Security Matters, Bernard Kenebai, appealed to the union to consider the plight of locals that depended on their services and call off the strike.
According to Kenebai, issues which led to the strike action by the union were receiving attention of the state.
He said the state government's original intention was to make procurements in phases to address transportation issues both on land and water but due to dwindling resources, the state government at this time cannot afford the procurement of marine assets requested by the union.
“Whilst, vehicles for land transportation and gunboats for security within the waterways were procured earlier, the boats for water transport were planned for acquisition at a later stage. Dwindling revenue and resources, however, made it extremely difficult for the State Government to support acquisition of the transport boats as planned. This situation has been explained at different meetings with the union,” he said.
Kenebai explained that the establishment of an NNPC Mega floating station was not a direct responsibility of the state government.
“Collaborative efforts remain ongoing between the State and Federal Governments, through their relevant agencies to set up this station at the Swali waterfront as well as in other areas to address the demand for reliable sources of petroleum products. Already, these efforts have led to the approval by NNPC of a major fuel depot to be established in Bayelsa State.”
He added that the security on the waterways has improved significantly, since the assumption of office by the present administration in the state.
“This has been due to the effective leadership and the utilization of the investments in marine security assets acquired by the State Government and the commendable efforts of the security agencies. Further measures already directed for effective security of the waterways include the inauguration of the Special Waterways Safety and Security Task Force, which is to work with Operation Doo-Akpo Marine and elements of the Maritime Workers Union,” said Kenebai.
– CAJ News