The Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents have shut down their offices over Coronavirus Disease concerns.
NPA issued a 14-day stay-at-home notice to workers of some of its departments and divisions.
In a circular, NPA explained that essential departments like Marine and Operations, Health, Safety and Environment, Security and Finance have also been advised to remain in their respective duty posts.
The circular read in part, “Following the current Coronavirus pandemic, members of staff are advised to be conscious of their health and safety by adhering to the preventive measures put in place by the medical division of the authority and other relevant government agencies. Staffers are enjoined to strictly comply with this directive.”
Meanwhile, ANLCA has also closed down its headquarters, saying that “since our own government has closed down schools, borders and shut down government secretariats, it is apparent that activities at the wharf be scaled down to an all-time low.”
The National President of ANLCA, Tony Nwabunike, said he and entire national executive committee members do care about members and their families, adding, “Let’s show love to ourselves by staying safe and coming out victorious.
“Consequently, the national secretariat will by noon [March 24, 2020] be shut down till further notice. Please, stay at home with your families. Avoid gatherings of any sort.
It is my prayers that the Almighty Father will spare us and the lives of our family members.”
Earlier, the shippers’ council had announced shutdown of offices for 14 days and ordered its staff to stay at home to prevent the spread of the deadly COVD-19.
The council, in a memo entitled ‘Suspension of Work and Partial Closure of Offices’, directed all staff to work from home, except those on essential services such as Medical, Complaints Handling, and General Services.
The council said that measures taken so far to contain the spread of the disease within its offices and among its staff and stakeholders might not be sufficient to prevent infection, as “the virus is a global disease that scientists and medics are still trying to understand.”
The council said it took the decision following the latest report from the National Centre for Disease Control and the Lagos State Government regarding the pandemic in Nigeria, especially Lagos.
“During the period, any staff with any of the widely-publicised symptoms of the virus should please contact the Medical Unit for possible assistance. The General Services Department is hereby directed to ensure the availability of council’s ambulance and other staff vehicles for essential services and that the security and safety of the council’s offices and assets are not, in any way, compromised during and after the period of the work suspension,” the memo stated.