Officials of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), including heavily armed security agents, on Monday, stormed the offices of some shipping agencies located in Apapa, Lagos, disrupting activities in the offices.
The shipping agencies whose operations were affected by the action are; CMA CGM, COSCO, Hull Blyth, Hapag Lloyd and LANSAL.
According to the information on its website, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission was set up by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 to develop and promote fair, efficient and competitive markets, “facilitate access by all citizens to safe products, and secure the protection of rights for all consumers in Nigeria”.
In a statement issued by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the body condemned the action of the commission, stating that the security operatives attached to the FCCPC officials held workers of the shipping agencies hostage.
“I wish to bring to the general public the sudden and shocking invasion of five shipping companies by agents who claim to be from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission today Monday 18th October 2021.
“We have been informed that agents from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission escorted by heavily armed policemen and army personnel invaded the work premises of our members in COSCO Shipping, Hull Blyth, CMA CGM, LANSAL, and Hapag Lloyd and proceeded to unleash mayhem on innocent working members of the union.
“They seized their personal phones without any justification and held them hostage against their will and refused them movement outside their various offices. While we are not against government agencies doing their work, we believe that laid down procedures should be followed.
“Our inquiries at the Nigerian Shippers Council which is the regulating agency for all shipping companies indicate that they were not informed nor aware of this invasion of our members’ workplaces. Secondly, we do not also believe that any category of workers should be subjected to this inhuman treatment without just cause or prior information.
“Finally, we ask that this invasion of our work places and the keeping of our members hostage be immediately discontinued and investigated by appropriate authority for the sake industrial harmony in the ports.
“Note that should this kind of invasion of our members’ work places continue without due process, the union will have no option but withdraw the services of its members,” MWUN said in a statement signed by its President-General, Adewale Adeyanju.