Maritime workers set to shut Saipem over alleged N10bn debt

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has vowed to shut down the operations of Saipem in Nigeria over the company’s indebtedness running into more than $29 million (N10.6 billion) for various services at the port, Leadership reports.

The President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju disclosed at the weekend that the union would shut down Saipem over indebtedness to dockworkers. Saipem it was gathered owes the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) $19.3 million (N6.9 billion) for pilotage services and also owes dockworkers, who are members of MWUN, through their stevedoring contractor, Agwut A. International Ltd, more than $10.4 million (N3.7 billion) for accumulated stevedoring services.

The executive director, Marine and Operations of NPA, Dr. Sokonte Davies confirmed the company’s huge debts in a letter to Saipem dated 15th November 2017. In the letter Davies said the huge indebtedness and Saipem’s lackluster attitude to meeting its financial obligations for the pilotage and stevedoring services is capable of stoking industrial crisis in the port. He gave Saipem two weeks within which to pay up the debts but as at the end of the two weeks grace period, the company allegedly remains unmoved.