Following the lock-down of Lagos as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council would be providing free buses for accredited freight forwarders and other port users going to the Lagos ports for clearance of vital cargoes, beginning from Wednesday April 1, 2020.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council said the initiative is part of its responsibility as the port economic regular, to ensure ease of movement for people who have to be on duty at the ports to enable the rest of society get supplies.
It said that the buses would leave by 8a.m daily fromFESTAC Town (by Apple junction), Okokomaiko (at Alakija under bridge), Surulere (by National Stadium), Oshodi (at Charity bus stop) and Ikeja(at Ikeja along bus stop).
However, for compliance to grant access to only people on essential duty, the Council said only persons who present valid means of identification duly signed by agencies/organisations approved for essential duties would have such access.
It also noted that exempted agencies, organisations, services and their personnel must operate in accordance with guidelines issued by health authorities in that regard.
The Council also disclosed that it donated protective gears for port users as well as cash made available to the common purse for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As an intervention, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has donated protective gears for port users worth N5m to be distributed to relevant field and operational staff.
“The Council also donates the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) only to be used collectively in the fight against Covid-19 in Lagos and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” the statement read in part.
The Shippers’ Council made known its discussions with all parties concerned in the issue of demurrage and incentives to facilitate the clearance of goods from the ports.
For a possibility of financial transactions to enable port operations, the Council called on Banks to take note of the President’s speech with regards to the directives that ports remain in operation.
It said: “The attention of the banks is, therefore, drawn to the Notice by the Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria, which allows operations in the financial system.We note that port operations as indicated by the President are essential and critical services.”