APMT, others sack workers in Nigeria over drop in cargo traffic

The hard economic condition in the country has taken a toll on the shipping industry with terminal operators being forced to reduce their staff strength.

One of the terminal operators, APM Terminals Apapa, Wednesday said it plans to sack some workers following the fall in cargo traffic at the port.
Citing global price of oil falling from $114 per barrel in the summer of 2014 to less than $50 a barrel in October 2015, the company noted that this has in turn taken a toll on the Nigerian economy and impacted on staffing requirements at APM Terminals .
The General Manager, Communication & Sustainability of the company, Mr Austine Fischer in a statement said that fall in cargo traffic has forced APMT to reduce staff.
He quoted Head of Human Resources Ms. Bunmi Pratt, saying, “with cargo volumes down 30% compared with a year ago, and even after extensive cost-cutting measures taken throughout the terminal, we are unfortunately being forced to reduce our staffing in view of the business realities of the current economic environment”,
The statement said that employment at APM Terminals Apapa, has risen during the past 10 years from 467 to approximately 1000 in 2015.
The statement added, “Nigeria, with oil and related petroleum products representing more than 90% of total exports, or approximately USD $90 billion in 2014, and the lion’s share of government revenue, has seen austerity measures permeate the national and local economy. A sharp drop in demand for consumer goods has been particularly acutely felt at APM Terminals Apapa, which handles over half of all Nigerian imports”.
The company said that it is working closely with the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) “during this period of the transition”, adding that respect and compassion for employees have remained the foundation of its business.

APMT is not alone, as other terminal operators have either sacked their workers or planning to do so due to the fall in cargo traffic in the past few months.