Umar assured that there is a control of the Coronavirus pandemic at the port as every port user temperatures are being observed before allowing them into port premises.
…Rules Out Inviting NCDC for Community Testing
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the volume of cargoes coming into Nigeria has reduced drastically due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The NPA Port Manager, Tin Can Island Port Complex, Umar Abubakar Garba stated this while fielding questions from journalists on the sidelines of an event at the complex on Friday.
Some port stakeholders had called on the National Centre for Decease Control (NCDC) to carry out community testing due to the number of freight forwarders trooping into the port on daily basis, defying all social distancing rules.
To this, the NPA Port Manager said there was no need inviting the NCDC, saying that the Port Health officials are competent to carry out their responsibilities.
Umar said that globally, the Coronavirus pandemic has dealt a big blow on shipping business and that the drop in cargoes is not peculiar to Nigerian ports alone.
He confirmed that vessels are still coming to the ports on daily basis, but that it is not as it used to be.
“It is not just at Tin Can, shipping is an international business.
It is true that there has been a reduction in ship traffic, even though ships are still coming on daily basis, but when you look at it even internationally, the traffic has reduced and it is because of this COVID-19 pandemic, so it is not just about Tin Can Port alone, on daily basis vessels come, but the cargoes have reduced”
“We cannot get cargo without linking it to the human beings doing the trading, people are not travelling, so the goods are limited, vessels are coming but the cargoes have dropped” he said
According to him “You cannot call NCDC to come and seat down, it is when it is observed that someone has been sick that you call them to pick the person”
“From Mr Mr President speech, the port health are asked to move and operate more inside the port, so, already, measures are being taken”
“Because of the importance of this, officials from World Health Organisation (WHO) do come round the port for assessment, at a time, we also invited them here to do sensitisation for our workers, so we are not resting on our oars”
“The port health are trained officials, the people coming to take delivery of their cargoes do not stay at the port, so someone that just came to pick their containers and go, you cannot call NCDC”
“Nobody is seen either lying down or showing these symptoms, it is not every sickness you call NCDC, the port health are on ground, and you should know that the port health is a major member of the NCDC team” he said.