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COVID-19: Shippers’ Council explains necessity for port operations this period

To avoid a total halt of manufacturing of goods and ability to support shipping, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council stepped up its engagement with relevant stakeholders in the port to ease movement at this time when Lagos is on lockdown as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.


Explaining the role of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as Port Economic Regulator, the Executive Secretary, Mr. Hassan Bello, said the Federal Government’s decision for the ports to operate is informed by the fact that globally, even in worst-hit countries, ports still operate , to save the economy.
Bello said, “As you know, even in the hardest hit countries, port operations have continued without let or hindrance.
“In an interdependent world, goods continue to move around and the manufacturing of goods cannot be halted otherwise economies would be in bigger trouble than they are set to be as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many essential commodities, particularly drugs, medical equipment and consumables need to be imported by many countries including Nigeria.
“It is against this background that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council stepped up its engagement with port operators by providing transportation to and from the ports daily for freight forwarders during the period if the lockdown.”
The Council, according to Bello, had earlier visited some terminals and held discussions, which led to its intervention for some of the banks to extend their services to port operators.
The banks’ operations at this time, Bello said, would enable freight forwarders pay required fees to various agencies to facilitate clearance of cargoes from the ports.

Bello disclosed that some of the banks that would be operating to support the transactions by freight forwarders in Apapa include Zenith, UBA, FCMB and GTBank.

In that regard, he said: “We cannot afford to have our terminals clogged up with more uncleared cargoes. We are happy to note that a number of banks have been cooperating in Apapa to ease transactions for freight forwarders.”

He also made known the Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s engagement of the Port Health Services, recognising that it works quite hard to ensure that port users, and indeed the generality of Nigerians are protected from the virus as essential goods make their way into the country.

The Council had made some modest contribution in cash and protective materials towards the fight against COVID-19, Bello added.


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