The Federal Government is considering the establishment of Covid19 treatment centre to serve the nation’s maritime industry around the biggest and busiest ports of Apapa.
This was disclosed in Lagos today by the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello at a meeting to present protective kits and hand sanitizers to maritime journalists.
Bello said the scheme which is christened ITT Centre for Isolation, Treatment and Testing of Covid19 cases in the maritime industry is being worked out with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
According to him, the maritime industry is strategic to Nigeria’s national growth and sustenance and as such deserves such facility to address suspected cases concerning persons working in and around the ports area.
He described the pandemic as a situation that has greatly altered the way things were done in the past thereby requiring new approach including virtual presence for the transaction of port businesses.
He listed things like physical collection of bill of laden, visiting ports and terminals and other manual processes as things that are fast being phased out in the new port regime following the outbreak of the pandemic and in line with modern port Operations.
He added that Nigeria will be relying more on export as a way of sustaining and diversifying the economy. According to him, about 800 export laden trucks were recently processed on fast track to avoid losses to exporters since some of the commodities were perishables.
Bello disclosed that the council is also working to set up Strategic Committee for Export comprising of various agencies of government including Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Ports Authority and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
While presenting face masks and hand sanitisers to reporters , he described them as frontline essential workers in the maritime industry who provide relevant business and safety information required for a critical period like the Covid19 pandemic.
Bello urged maritime journalists to keep observing the protocols as advised by the World Health Organization and Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease.