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NSC restricts access to seaports as JOHESU seeks inclusion in task force

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The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has directed restriction of access to only persons offering essential services at the nation’s seaports.

In a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Rakia Zubairu, the council disclosed that access would be restricted and closely monitored in order to limit persons in the seaports to avoid contracting COVID-19.

However, the council has provided financial support and designated vehicles to aid the movement of operators and ensure seamless port operations during the lockdown period.

President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that nation’s seaports remain operational, hence port workers, users, service providers and government agencies remain part of essential services and should have unrestricted access to the ports.

The President also directed that there should be movement of cargo as long as they have been subjected to necessary checks. For cargo delivery and evacuation from seaports to be effective, interstate cargo movement by road and rail should not be restricted.

In that regard, NSC said to ensure uninterrupted supply of crucial commodities, the listed the services that would remain open during the period, albeit with minimal operations to enable the ports function, while access will be restricted and closely monitored.

The organisations allowed in the seaports are, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Railway Corporation (Freight Services), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Port Health Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others.

Meanwhile, health sector workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) have asked the Federal and state governments to include them in the task force against the disease.

They demanded that their members should be enlisted in the implementation of the various economic stimulus measures, interventions and palliatives outlined by President Muhammadu Buhari in his national broadcast, insisting that their inclusion would motivate health professionals and other essential service providers in the country.

The demands were contained in a statement issued by National Chairman and Secretary of the JOHESU, comrades Bio Joy Josiah and Mrs. Ekpebor Florence.

JOHESU urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to all instructions or regulations, including the stay-at-home order and work from home directives to guide against further spread of the virus.

The association charged Nigerians to maintain good hygiene by washing their hands with soap frequently, use appropriate alcohol-based hand sanitisers, observe social distancing and stay safe.

“JOHESU and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (AHPA) urge all health workers to support government in containing the spread of coronavirus, otherwise called COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement reads.


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