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Terminal operators heighten fight against coronavirus

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[FILES] Nigerian ports have heightened the fight against coronavirus

Terminal operators in Nigerian ports have heightened the fight against coronavirus with several of them committing funds and humanitarian grants to quell the spread of the virus in the country.

With several donations arising from the maritime sector, the latest intervention is coming from Nigeria’s largest roll-on-roll-off (RORO) terminal, Ports and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML), its parent company, Grimaldi Nigeria and Sifax Group, donating funds and health kits towards the fight against the pandemic.

PTML and Grilmadi Nigeria have collectively donated a total of N150 million, 10,000 nose masks and 5,000 hand gloves to various arms of government in support of the fight against COVID-19.

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While PTML donated N100 million to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Relief Fund Account created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Grimaldi Nigeria donated N50 million to Lagos State Government.

PTML also donated 10,000 nose masks and 5,000 hand gloves to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Tin Can Island Port to support NPA’s effort to check the spread of the virus at the nation’s seaport.

Managing Director of PTML, Ascanio Russo, said the firm deems it necessary to identify with the efforts of the Federal Government, Lagos State Government and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in strengthening measures towards containing the spread of the global pandemic in Nigeria, and particularly the port industry.

“In addition to these donations, we have at our company level, as part of our contribution to stem the scourge, implemented all the safety guidelines prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Port Health Services and others.

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“Our terminal has remained fully operation as directed by the Federal Government with regards to the continuity of port operations. We also ensure the use of nose masks and hand gloves by all categories of workers, including contractors at our facility.”

“We have intensified the use of assigned personal protective gears at all terminal work locations while ensuring social distancing by of crowd reduction at all our customer service points and reduction in the number of biometric access cards per agency,” Russo said.

The PTML Managing Director also said that port users are being encouraged to use the company’s electronic platforms in all business transactions, “such that customers only come to the terminal for the physical collection of cargo”.

He said consignees can obtain and pay provisional invoices at any quick teller enabled ATM machines and select banking platforms

The electronic payment options developed by the company, he said, will enhance prompt service delivery and ensure social distancing in line with safety measures introduced by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus infections.

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Russo, who expressed confidence in the ability of the Federal and State Governments to curtail the spread of the disease and enhance public health, appealed to Nigerians to adhere to the various safety measures outlined by the NCDC.

Meanwhile, SIFAX Group has committed the sum of N130 million as support fund towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the company, the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 will get the sum of N70 million, Lagos State Government and Ogun State government will get N15 million and N10 million respectively, while the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will get N5 million.

The company, through its foundation, the Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation is also committing N30 million as relief support funds to the poor across the 36 states of the federation.

Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, Adekunle AbdulRazak Oyinloye, said: “We are delighted to be presenting this support fund to both the Federal and State governments. As a company, we believe that healthy people translates to a healthy nation, that is why we are leaving no stone unturned in our support towards the eradication of this pandemic in Nigeria.

“Our foundation, Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation is also committing funds into making sure that the poor are adequately taken care of. We commend the visible and proactive efforts of government at all levels and believe that this collective effort will go a long way in flattening the curve and we will overcome soonest,” he stated.

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