Nigeria’s leading seaport terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa has consistently given the country cause to relish its ports reforms and concession of 2006. The concessionaire has indeed lived up to its commitment of upgrading the container terminal, and improving port services which were the major pillars of the concession programme.
A fortnight ago, the foremost terminal operator kicked off its 2020-2021 investment phase of the terminal at the cost of USD80 million (N33.6billion), with the commissioning of two new multi-million state-of-the-art Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs). The additional two mobile cranes were brought in to boost service delivery in response to the increasing container volumes at the terminal.
The recent investment brings the total investment by the company in Apapa since 2006 to USD438million (about N184billion), which is the highest by any private terminal operator in Nigeria. The result of all these investments, upgrade and modernization of the terminal is increased efficiency and productivity, which has translated positively to the growth of the Nigerian economy through the generation of economic activity.
APM Terminals, by its actions and gestures, has over time proved to be a responsible corporate citizen of Nigeria. As Nigeria wages a tough battle with the rampaging coronavirus along with other countries of the world, APM Terminals Apapa has proven to be more than an ally. Like a few other reputable organizations, the company has demonstrated unprecedented solidarity and support in the fight against the deadly virus.
As soon as the disease broke out in Nigeria, APM Terminals did not waste time in doling out $200,000 (over N80million) into the United Nations Basket Fund for the fight against the pandemic in Nigeria. Its $200,000 contribution to the UN Basket Fund for the fight against the pandemic in Nigeria notwithstanding, APM Terminals spent another $250,000 (about N100million) to charter a flight to deliver vital health supplies acquired under the auspices of the United Nations to Nigeria to support the fight against the pandemic.
Not done, the company also contributed N150million into the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Relief Fund Account created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in addition to donating nose masks, disposable protective coveralls, hand sanitizers, protective goggles and hand gloves to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) towards curtailing the pandemic.
It also committed another N25million to community awareness through radio, social media and fliers to sensitize its host community, Apapa, and the general public on how to control the spread of the virus.
These are acts that amply demonstrate the company’s love for Nigeria and its host community, as well as the company’s high-level awareness of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Apart from the huge financial and material support to government, APM Terminals’ moral support cannot be downplayed as the company has been commending the Federal Government for its efforts at containing the pandemic, while demonstrating great zeal in implementing the directives of government and health authorities towards the fight.
As a responsible corporate citizen of Nigeria, APM Terminals has been in the forefront of complying with the directive of the Federal Government to maintain continuity in port operation while the battle against COVID-19 rages. In line with the government directive, APM Terminals has maintained full operation, while adopting stringent safety measures as directed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Port Health Services. Operating in full capacity with the guidelines by these health agencies, the terminal operator ensures that the supply chain remains uninterrupted and the availability of essential supplies is maintained in the face of the pandemic.
The company’s high compliance level with the guidelines is captured in its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, which it recently launched. The plan was articulated to prevent the spread of the virus at the port and to safeguard the health and lives of APM Terminals employees and its clients.
These measures include the provision of hand-wash stations and hand sanitizers, temperature checks and compulsory hand washing when entering the terminal. Other measures include continuous employee engagement/enlightenment, limiting the number of people in the terminal shuttle bus to one person per row, and ensuring that at the staff canteen, employees queuing for meals observe a spacing of at least one metre apart.
In addition, only one customer is allowed at the customer service counter at a time while a maximum of 20 customs agents are allowed within the waiting area, and with one seat spacing between customers waiting to be attended to. The company also ensures that only customers for Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) as well as exit and booking access are allowed to the customer service waiting area, while others are directed to send an email or make use of online platforms.
These are commendable policy decisions and actions, which other corporate bodies and government agencies should emulate. We commend APM Terminals for its high sense of responsibility and invaluable contribution to Nigeria’s dogged fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and urge it not to relent until the battle is decisively over.
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