The Nigerian Shippers’ Council yesterday announced that it will provide shuttle buses for port users to ease their movement to and from the ports in line with the directive that port operations will not be affected by the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states.
The Council yesterday, in a statement disclosed that buses will be provided at Festac (by Apple junction), Okokomaiko (at Alakija under bridge), Surulere (by National Stadium), Oshodi (at Charity bus stop),Ikeja (at Ikeja along bus stop).
The Council also announced the donation of protective materials worth N5Million and another N5Million to be used in the fight against the pandemic Coronavirus; COVID-19.
“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)”, it said yesterday.
The Council however acknowledged that, the lockdown has caused unimaginable disruption of the logistics supply chain. Users and providers of services are seemingly unable to carry out their obligations for reasons beyond their control.
It added that the Nigeria Shippers’ Council, as Port Economic Regulator and an arbiter, is conscious of the fact that obligations, responsibilities, duties and rights may have been frustrated.
The statement also disclosed that it has commenced discussions with all parties on the “issue of demurrage and incentives to facilitate the clearance of goods from the ports”.
On the issue of transportation to and from the ports, the Council said that the shuttle buses will leave the scheduled areas in different locations at 8am with effect from 1st April, 2020.
It further gave clearance about agencies and stakeholders that are allowed unhindered movement around Lagos and into the ports in Lagos.
“The President has made it clear that ports stay operational. Port workers, users and providers of services as well as government agencies are part of essential services and should have unfettered 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”, the statement stressed.
The Council explained further that, agencies and organisation that will enjoy the privilege are: Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Nigerian Railway Corporation; (Freight services), National Inland Waterways Authority, Port Health Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency, Seaport Terminal Operators, Shipping Lines/Agencies, Dock Workers, Stevedores;
Others are: Freight Forwarding Services, Cargo De-consolidators, Barge Operators, Marine and Port Police, Cargo Truck Drivers, Banks.