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Nigerian Unity Line MD, 42 Others, Sacked

Posted by By Francis Ugwoke on 2005/07/27 | Views: 643 |

Nigerian Unity Line MD, 42 Others, Sacked


Managing Director of the comatose Nigerian Unity Line (NUL), a parastatal under the Ministry of Transport, Rear Admiral Samuel Atukum (rtd), and 42 other workers of the organisation have been sacked by the Federal Government.

Managing Director of the comatose Nigerian Unity Line (NUL), a parastatal under the Ministry of Transport, Rear Admiral Samuel Atukum (rtd), and 42 other workers of the organisation have been sacked by the Federal Government.

The sack letters, according to sources close to the Ministry of Transport, were distributed to the affected boss and workers of the organisation last week.

Our source said only three workers of the organisation were spared by the Federal Government in the shake-up.

It was gathered that the workers left behind will assist Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in the planned privatisation exercise of the organisation.
Affected workers of the organisation are said to have been paid their severance package by BPE from about $4 million realised during the sale of MV Abuja, the only vessel earlier owned by the parastatal.

NUL was established by the Federal Government following the liquidation of Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) in September 1995.

The organisation has received $20 million from National Maritime Authority (NMA), an amount that was retrieved from NNSL as a result of its liquidation, and passed on to NUL to acquire the container ship, MV Abuja, in the same year.

NUL's establishment followed the debt burden of the NNSL running into several millions of dollars owed shipping agents in many parts of the world, a development that led to seizure of its ships.

Although, NNSL had earlier placed an order for MV Abuja under a different name, government reasoned that the vessel will also be subject to seizure by creditors.

But, NUL took the same way of NNSL as the management of the organisation has rough times in managing the only vessel, one of the reasons why it was auctioned about two years ago.

Like NNSL, which has about 29 vessels and auctioned nearly all of them, NUL was compelled to auction its only vessel after creditors, mainly international shipping agents, and crew threatened to sell the ship over unpaid bills.

At a point, NUL management was not able to pay the crew's salaries, not even allowances, a situation that led to the intervention of the International Transport Federation (ITF) in taking care of the crew.

Government was forced to direct the management of the NMA which sources said spent about $3million in trying to assist the NUL management to handle the crises.

NMA gave out a total of over $70 million to NNSL from the suspended Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF) before the company was liquidated.
BPE in the past few years has indicated interest in privatising NUL, but appear to have found it difficult attracting investors.

With MV Abuja already auctioned at a give-away price of $4 million, from its purchase price of $16.5million, observers are wondering on what is still left in the company to attract investors.


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