As part of measures to sustain the containment of the spread of the dreaded Ebola disease, the Federal Government has barred all foreign liners from directly entering the nation’s six major seaports located in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri.
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, who made the disclosure, at the Ministerial platform, held in Abuja Thursday, said that the relevant security agencies operating at the various seaports have been directed to ensure that no vessel enters Nigeria’s territorial waters from international voyage without being properly screened before their entry.
Under the new security and health arrangement, all vessels coming into the country including their crew must be thoroughly screened at the anchorage before they are towed into the nation’s territorial waters unlike what was obtained before now.
The minister also noted that the new measure, which is being enforced in conjunction with the Port Health and the Federal Ministry of Health as part of measures to sustain the progress so far made in ensuring that the dreaded virus does not spread any further.
“We are working assiduously to ensure that the deadly disease ravaging some counties in West Africa does not spread in Nigeria through the seaports this time”, the Minister said emphatically.
The Minister, who also presented his score, noted that the transport sector under his supervision in the last few years have done very well, insisting that the government will continue to take urgent steps towards the development of the sector.
According to him, the sector would continue to receive attention under the transformation agenda of the current administration, as it will continue to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Nigerian nation’s economy.
The Federal Government under President Goodluck Jonathan will continue to develop efficient, safe and secure transport system, which will be the envy of the world”, he also assured.
On Nigeria’s projected attainment of hub seaport for the West and Central African sub-region, he noted that with the completion of the reform of the seaports, which stripped the Nigerian Ports Authority of its cargo handling functions and gave same to private terminal operators, a measure of efficiency has been recorded at the seaports.