COVID-19: Terminal Operators Seek Adjustment in Buhari’s 14-Days Quarantine for Ships
11 months ago
… Says We Have no Problems with Vessels Coming from Asia, Europe
Terminal operators are definitely not happy with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that all vessels coming into Nigeria should be quarantined for 14-days before they are allowed to berth, in order to ensure that such vessel and crew are free of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
Chairperson of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) Princess Vicky Haastrup while fielding questions from journalists inside her terminal; ENL Consortium in Lagos yesterday said terminal operators would rather prefer that all vessels are allowed to come in as they were.
Ahe said that terminal operators do not have problems with those vessels coming from Europe and Asia because the time it would take for such vessel to arrive Nigerian ports is more than 14-days, under which health status or symptoms must have been identified.
She said the major concern is for vessels coming from West African countries who might not have taken 14- days to arrive Nigerian port.
Notwithstanding, Princess Haastrup advocated that such vessel should be allowed to berth, while the Port Health quarantine the crew, discharging of the cargo can continue.
She said the “The regulation by Mr. President is very important, but what we do know, is that most of the ships coming from Europe, Asia and a whole lot of other countries of the world are already quarantined because of the time it takes them to arrive in Nigeria territorial waters, so I dont think we have problems with vessels coming from these countries”
“The one that we have problems with are those vessels that are coming from West African countries, they would not have observed the fourteen days quarantine time”
“What we expect for such vessels is that they should be allowed to berth naturally, but what we expect the Port health to do is determine the health status of the crew and quarantine them onboard while we go on with the discharge of the vessel”
“If we do this, I don’t think it would cause any problems or much damage to our economy or to the terminal operators”
President Muhammadu Buhari, had last week directed relevant agencies of government to ensure that only cargo ships that have been at sea for more than 14 days are allowed to dock at the port as part of measures aimed at curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The President, however, said that the new restriction would not apply to vessels carrying oil and gas products because there is minimal human contact with regards to such vessels.