As the dreaded coronavirus continues to infect more people in Nigeria, some maritime agencies and businesses have opted to shut down operations, living only the very critical aspect of their operations to go on.
So far, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have shut down their offices.
The shippers council was first to announce shut down of offices for 14 days and ordered its staff to stay at home in order to prevent the spread of the the deadly Coronavirus disease.
The council in a memo titled “Suspension of work and partial closure of offices,” directed that all staff are to work from home except those on essential services (Medical, Complaints Handling, and General Services).
The council said that measures so far taken to contain the spread of the disease within its offices and among its staff and stakeholders may 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 Council for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Government regarding the Corona Virus pandemic (Convid-19) in Nigeria especially Lagos, which confirms clear and present danger.
“During the period, any staff with any of the widely publicised symptoms of the virus should please contact the Medical Unit for possible assistance and the General Services Department is hereby directed to ensure the availability of Council’s Ambulance and other staff vehicles for essential services and also ensure 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.
The NPA has also issued a 14-day stay at home notice to workers of some of its departments and divisions. In a circular released on Monday, NPA explained that essential departments like Marine and Operations, Health, Safety and Environment , Security and Finance have also been advised to maintain their respective duty posts.
Tony Iju Nwabunike, national president of ANLCA said himself and entire NECOM members do care about members and their families, saying ,”Let’s show love to ourselves by staying safe and coming out victorious.”
“Consequently, the National Secretariat will by 12 noon today the 24/03/2020 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,” Nwabunike stated.