The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has revealed that he rejected a salary increment request by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) because he preferred to attend to salary increment requests from poorly paid agencies under the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
Responding to inquiries on the remuneration of railway workers during a recent inspection of the standard gauge rail project in Lagos, Rotimi Amaechi explained that even though he lacked the powers to unilaterally increase the salaries of railway workers, he will support their quest for better remuneration.
According to the Honourable Minister of Transportation, “The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is one of the most poorly paid agencies under the Federal Ministry of Transportation. But I lack the power to increase their salaries even though I will join them to push for a review of their salaries.
“Recently, NIMASA came to me with a request that I should increase their salary. I declined. They reminded me of what the law says; that every five years, their salaries should be reviewed. I told them to tell the law to wait. I told NIMASA that the five years stated in the law is dependent on availability of cash. They (NIMASA) told me that they make more money for government, and I replied to them that government is not making any money because we are looking for money to run the government. So, I have asked NIMASA to send their request to the Federal Government; that I don’t agree with it.
“The agency that has not had any salary increment in the last 10 to 15 years is the NRC, and we need to jointly focus on that to see that their salaries are increased. Do I have the powers to implement? No; it is the Presidency and the Salary and Wages Commission that have such powers.”
On the relocation of scanners from Apapa port by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Amaechi explained that he will be having a meeting with the Comptroller General of Customs because the facility has not been relocated.
Recall that in April of 2021, Rotimi Amaechi revealed that the NCS has agreed to demolish the Customs scanner site obstructing the laying of tracks into the Apapa port which would be done within six months.
Amaechi, in a statement by his Media Assistant, Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, said decision was reached to create a temporary alternative route inside the port during the period of the demolition.
“We have decided in the meeting that a temporary alternative route would be established inside the port while they start demolishing, after which the rail track will be laid and also a survey will be done under the water to find out about the cracks.
“We have also decided that the drainage should be expanded to accommodate more water to reduce the flood on the rail track. There are three tracks, only one track is not able to enter the port which will be resolved. They should be able to remove the customs building in six months,” Amaechi had said in April.
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