The Bayelsa State Government has called on the Maritime Workers in the state to Call Off the on-going Strike in the Interest of the Masses.
A statement issued yesterday by Special Adviser to the governor on Security Matters, Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Kenebai (rtd), Read: “The Government of Baylesa State notes with regret the on-going strike action embarked upon by the Bayelsa State Chapter of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria.
“Against the backdrop of numerous ongoing developmental and political activities, which require marine transportation, this action is considered ill-advised. This is, moreso when the issues which led to the strike action by the Union, are either receiving attention or outside the remit of the State Government.
“Firstly, the State Government, despite her best intentions cannot, at this time, afford the procurement of marine assets requested by the Union. The Government’s original intention was to make procurements in phases to address transportation issues both on land and water.
“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.
“Secondly, the establishment of an NNPC Mega floating station, which is one of the demands of the union, is not a direct responsibility of the State Government. However, 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.
“Thirdly, and not the least, security on the waterways has improved significantly, since the assumption of office by this 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 includes the inauguration by His Excellency 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.
“The Government of Bayelsa State and the Maritime Workers Union are partners in their common desire to create the enabling environment for development and to improve the lot of the people of the State”.
“The State Government, therefore, appeals to the Union to consider the plight of Bayelsans, that depend on their services and call off the strike,” the statement added.