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Why the ports can’t be shutdown – Hassan Bello

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To embark on inspector tour of terminals today

By Godfrey Bivbere

EXECUTIVE Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Hassan Bello has said that the nation’s ports cannot be shutdown because of its strategic place in the nation’s economy. This is even as he disclosed that he will be embarking on a tour of some terminals tomorrow to see things for himself.

Bello in an exclusive chat with Vanguard Maritime Report said ports all over the world do not shut down at times like this because they are needed for supplies for the survival of the country.

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He noted that like the airports, the Federal Government only restricted passenger flights but that cargo flights are still allowed in and out of the country. He pointed out that the ports in the United States of America, USA, Germany, China, Holland and others are not shutdown even with the disease crisis.

According to him, “The ports cannot be closed, it plays a very important role for the nation at a time like this. You know, the airport is not completely shutdown. Cargo planes are still coming in, it is the same thing with the port because the medical supplies and other equipment needed had to come in either through the airport or the seaport.”

On whether the various agencies working at the port are well protected, the NSC boss said that the necessary precautionary measures have been taking to ensure that the workers are protected.
He said that the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Port Health and the terminal operators have all taking the necessary measure, he assured.

He noted that the Council in it part has sent its staff in the administrative and none essential services to start working from home. In a memo titled “Suspension of work and partial closure of offices,” directed that all staff are to work from home except those on essential services (Medical, Complaints Handling, and General Services).

The council said that measures so far taken to contain the spread of the disease within its offices and among its staff and stakeholders may not be sufficient to prevent infection as the virus is a global disease that scientists and medics are still trying to understand.

The memo reads, “Following the latest report from the National Council for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Government regarding the Corona Virus pandemic (Convid-19) in Nigeria especially Lagos. which confirms clear and present danger, the management after due consultations with the Medical Unit wishes to observe as follows that although the Council has already taken some necessary measure aimed  at preventing the spread of the virus within its offices and among its staff and stakeholders.

“It has become apparent that these measures may not be sufficient to prevent infection as the virus is a global disease that scientists and medics are still trying to understand. What Is apparent in the meantime is that the person-to-person Infectivity rate of the virus is unprecedentedly high which is why organizations, globally are wisely adopting the precautionary measure of suspending activities and closing down offices while watching developments on the pandemic.”

Vanguard

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