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Shipping, Port Operations Is Key To Curbing The Spread Of Coronavirus In Nigeria — SAN

Coronavirus Nigeria

Coronavirus Nigeria

The Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) has reacted to calls made by other maritime industry stakeholders on the need for the Federal Government to keep essential services, including the seaports and cargo operations going amid the coronavirus outbreak.

SAN Chairman, Mr. Val Usifoh revealed this in a recent statement in Lagos.

According to him, the association is concerned about the effects of shutting down the ports and/or not allowing ships to berth and operate in the country, because it will attract serious repercussions.

He added that the latest order by the president that cargo ships that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to berth is helpful since it will allow vessels waiting over the past month or so on Lagos waters to berth and discharge.

His words, “If cargo inflow is halted in any way, this will have immediate repercussions on the country’s provision of basic items and necessary input for the few industries still surviving, including small and medium scale enterprises.

“The social consequences in Nigeria will be huge. Not only will millions of people working in the informal sector most likely lose their source of income but also the likelihood of massive lay-off of staff employed in the formal economy, while there will be shortage of necessities.”

“Shipping carries 90% of world freight movements, therefore interrupting that flow has dire consequences for a nation like Nigeria which is reliant on imports of essential items including drugs, chemicals and raw materials,”

“The latest order by President Muhammadu Buhari that cargo ships that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to berth is helpful because it will allow vessels waiting over the past month or so on Lagos waters to berth and discharge. The bottleneck is that with the low level of deliveries out of Lagos ports as a result of well-known challenges, not much impact will be made on the berthing delay and cargo throughout.”

“All shipping companies are complying with the directives of relevant authorities including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with regards to measures aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring essential services to their customers.”

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