By Godwin Oritse
FOLLOWING the lock-down announced by the Federal Government three months ago, Nigeria’s biggest container terminal, A. P. Moller, Apapa, Lagos, in a bid to sustain its operations,has taken over four exquisite hotels to accommodate its staff during the period of the lockdown.
The hotels taken over by the terminal, according to a staff of the company, are Rock-View Apapa, Radisson Blue Victoria Island, Excelsior Hotel Apapa and Etal hotel also in Apapa.
Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that because the ports were classified as essential services, the firm did not want the lockdown to affect its operations, hence the move to put some of its essential workers into some five star hotels in Lagos.
A staff who spoke to Vanguard Maritime Report on the condition of anonymity, said that that the arrangement was made despite the staff insistence on collecting cash instead as they could find their way to and from work.
The management,Vanguard Maritime Report learnt, preferred having its workers nearby so as to ensure they report at their duty posts timely.
The staff also said that APMT paid an overtime of N10, 000 per hour as against about N30, 000 monthly overtime.
It was also gathered that apart from the accommodation that were given to workers of the terminal, meals were also provided three times daily just as shuttle buses were also made available to bring them to the terminal and take them back to the hotel rooms.
The staff said: “We wanted A P Moller, based on the issue of social distance, to pay us sufficiently for the lockdown and well our find our way around coming to work, but the company said no. They lodged the staff in five star hotels for a whole month.
“Radisson Blue was almost taken over by A. P Moller. When the rooms at Radisson Blue were not sufficient, we closed up Rock-View, Caldizer we closed it up, Etal we closed it up, these hotels were more like APMT lodge as they provided meals three times daily at such expensive locations.”