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Apapa Port

10.01.2022 Featured ‘You Black Monkey’ — Foreigners Victimise Nigerian Worker at Apapa Port

Published 10th Jan, 2022

By Yakubu Mohammed

Amos Fasanya, an Invoice Manager at Tincan Island Container Terminal (TICT) Ltd., Apapa, Lagos, has expressed displeasure over the sudden termination of his appointment after serving the organisation in different capacities for over 14 years.

Prior to his faceoff with the management of TICT, Fasanya had worked with Bollore Group, a shipping company in the country. When Olusegun Obasanjo started concessioning of ports to private companies, Bollore, according to Amos, bid for Terminal B at Apapa Port. “After winning the bid, I was sent on a secondment to manage Tincan Island Container Terminal Ltd. in 2006,” he told FIJ. 

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Amos served in various sections, including invoicing, commercial, customer control and treasury. In 2013, the company employed Pawan Kapur, an Indian national, as the commercial manager. Amos said Kapur tried to merge his (Amos) section with the commercial section, but he resisted it with the support of Kotik Yehuda, the then managing director.

Yehuda, before his retirement in 2014, promoted Amos to the management cadre. The promotion entitled Amos to an official car, which he never got until four years later.

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As FIJ would learn, Ettiene Rochas, a French man who succeeded Yehuda as the new MD, denied Amos his official car for years. 

“When Kotik promoted me to the management cadre, he retired from his duty,” Amos told FIJ. “Supposedly, I was to be given an official car, but the new MD (Rochas) delayed it until 2018 when the maritime workers union stepped in.”

BLACK MONKEY’ 

In 2018, Sunday Audu, a Kaduna-based TICT customer, approached Amos in his office to demand an invoice discount for his container housing an artificial football field. “I did not have the power to give him the discount, because I no longer served in the commercial section,” he said.

Audu told Amos he was an ex-Super Eagles player. “I told him I could not recollect the name as one of our national heroes,” he said. “To confirm his claims, I called Olumide Banjo, a former Super Eagles player. I asked him if he knew any Sunday Audu and he could recognise him. They even exchanged pleasantries.”

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Amos, willing to render help to the ex-footballer, took him to Kapur’s office. He said, “As we entered his office, he said, ‘Get out of my office, you black man, you black monkey.”’

Audu would later get his container out without a discount, consoled Amos, taking the blame for what had happened.

THE SACK

In October 2021, Amos got a tipoff that he would soon be worked out of the company and Kapur would serve in his capacity. “When I heard that, I filed a case of racial discrimination at the Industrial Court, Ikoyi, Lagos,” he said. “I sued him without involving the company.”

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According to him, the court has not given a date to commence the case, but Kapur has been served a copy.

On December 14, 2021, Rochas, the MD, called Amos and announced to him he had to leave the company. “I asked him what the reason was, he said economic issues and later said it was due to restructuring,” Amos told FIJ.

He also said he was as a member of the management team and was not aware of any restructuring. Amos said the company had enough money despite the COVID-19 challenge.

Subsequently, he was invited to a meeting to discuss the eviction process. He was urged to come with a solicitor if he wanted. Amos attended the meeting two days later with his counsel, Chukwu Nonso, a legal practitioner at AZIH & AZIH Chambers. But the meeting was postponed until December 31, 2021, and amazingly, Amos received a letter of dismissal.

READ ALSO: After FIJ’s Story, Police Open Investigations into Sack of Kwara Officers Who Busted Car Theft Ring

“I am just 46 years old, not 60. My age is not due for retirement,” he lamented. “Even my year of service was just 15 years, not 36 service years dictated by labour law.”

When contacted, Rochas told FIJ he was not in the country, urging our reporter to send a text. Similarly, Kapur declined FIJ’s call, replying with a text message, “only texts”. A detailed inquiry was sent to the duo, but they had not responded at press time. 

Published 10th Jan, 2022

By Yakubu Mohammed

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