Global West Vessel Employees Writes Buhari
Demands justice, plans to shut down NIMASA
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
About 350 staffers of Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, rendered redundant by President Muhammadu Buhari upon the sacking of the company as contractor to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has written an open letter to the president, demanding payment for jobs rendered before the suspension of its operation in 2015.
The complainants said having been discharged and acquitted by the court of charges of corruption leveled against Global West Vessel Specialist by the Federal Government, it expected the restoration of its operations and expressed dismay about the posture of the FG to reinstate the company, and failure to pay off the employees, five years after.
The letter signed by the group’s organizer, QM Samson Owolo, appealed to President Buhari to direct NIMASA to pay their outstanding wages or be ready for mass demonstration at the premises of the Agency by 30th September, 2021.
The letter reads in part: “Dear President this letter is coming from (three hundred and fifty) 350 seafarers, staff’s of Global West Vessel Specialist, the major contractors to NIMASA.
“Dear President sometime in June 2015 you ordered NIMASA to stop payment to Global West Vessel Specialist until its investigation by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is over.
Ololo said the order that placed more than 350 seafarers on the labour markets was a terrible experience.
“For good 5-6 years 2015 -2021, workers salaries have been held down by the government that (has) led to the loss of life of many seafarers working with Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd.
“Our kids were out of school because there is no more money to pay for their school fees, we the staffs of Global West Vessel Specialist are law abiding citizens. We waited patiently from 2015 -2020 June 15th after the court case between Global West Vessel Specialist and the EFCC.”
He noted that having waited for more than a year after the court judgment in favour of Global West Vessel without the FG doing the needful, the employees decided to bring to the notice of President Buhari their plight, demanding for their unpaid salaries.
“We are in 2021 now we are yet to receive our salaries. According to our management the government is yet to approve the money to Global West Vessel Specialist, for the past one year and seven months now we are still waiting for government to approve payment.
“How long more are the workers going to wait for their salaries? Staff’s are dying because of the hardship in the country, our families are suffering, what sin did we commit that deserves this kind of punishment from the government?
“Even after we have won the case in court someone in the government still decided to punish innocent staff’s that have laboured for the betterment of this country by refusing to approve the payment to Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd.”
Owolo stated that even after much effort by Global West to make the government see reasons, government keep making it more difficult for the maritime firm and its employees to receive their payment, noting they have had enough.
“We the staff’s say enough is enough we can’t keep quiet and keep dying one after the other when we don’t know who is next in line. We are coming out en-mass to protest peacefully at NIMASA headquarters on the 30th September.”