Group applauds release of ‘trapped’ WHO medical consignment for IDPs


The Arewa Maritime Practitioners Association of Nigeria (AMPA) has commended the release from the Lagos port of five reefer containers bearing medications meant for internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in Northern Nigeria.

Alhaji Suleiman Zailani, the Secretary-General of AMPA, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
He said the refrigerated consignment -- four 40ft equivalent units (FEUs) and one 20ft equivalent units (TEUs) -- bearing the World Health Organisation (WHO) as consignee arrived at the PTML terminal since February.
He, however, said AMPA was grateful to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, Grimaldi Group, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Nigeria Customs Service for facilitating the release of the consignment.
``AMPA has been very concerned about the delay in getting those five containers released from the port.
``Now that they have been released and handed over to the internally displaced persons, AMPA truly appreciates the state manly role of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
``The Speaker through Mr Mohammed Garba Gololo helped to resolve the matter to its logical conclusion and to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.
``It is truly heart-warming that Grimaldi Group exhibited quite exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility by writing off the huge accumulated demurrage. Grimaldi Group has demonstrated a very humane side of doing business.
``The Speaker and the Nigeria Customs Service, as well as the Shippers’’ Council, no less are heroes in the matured manner they have handled the matter.
``They deserve the commendation because of this critical consignment for the innocent victims of the Boko Haram insurgents in the Northern Nigeria,’’ he said.
Zailani said the delay in clearing the consignment was caused by system challenges and resulted in accumulated demurrage which the terminal operator insisted should be paid until the intervention by the organisations.
He said AMPA followed the matter of the WHO-sponsored consignment with the hope that availability of the medications would help to alleviate the sufferings of the IDPs.