The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has announced that it would be providing free buses to ease movement of accredited clearing agents and port workers affected by the lockdown to access the ports to enable them clear their consignments.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday, the council also said it has donated protective gears for port users worth N5million and another sum of N5million to fight the Covid 19 pandemic in Lagos and Abuja.
According to the statement, the buses will leave designated locations at 8am with effect from 1st April 2020 until the end of the lockdown.
The routes are Festac (by Apple junction), Okokomaiko (at Alakija under bridge), Surulere (by National Stadium). Others are Oshodi (at Charity bus stop) and Ikeja (at Ikeja along bus stop).
NSC said it has also been inundated with complaints that banks are not offering services with respect to port operations; a development it noted would hamper cargo clearance from the ports.
“The attention of the banks is, therefore, drawn to the Notice by the Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria, which allows operations in the financial system. We note that port operations as indicated by the President are essential and critical services,” the statement said.
The council called for synergy amongst port users and government agencies to support the Federal Government efforts in containing the scourge of the deadly virus, while making it possible to sustain port operations during this period.
The statement reads, “This present situation has indeed caused unimaginable disruption of the logistics supply chain. Users and providers of services are seemingly unable to carry out their obligations for reasons beyond their control.
“Nigeria Shippers’ Council, as an arbiter is conscious of the fact that obligations, responsibilities, duties and rights may have been frustrated. Therefore, Nigerian Shippers’ Council is discussing with all parties so that a balanced solution can be achieved especially the issue of demurrage and incentives to facilitate the clearance of goods from the ports.
“The devastating effect of the corona virus (COVID-19) has made it mandatory for these restrictions which we believe are critical to the reduction of transmission of the disease so that health professionals can cope with the challenge.
“As an intervention, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has donated protective gears for port users worth N5million to be distributed to relevant field and operational staff. The Council also donates the sum of N5million only to be used collectively in the fight against Covid-19 in Lagos and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“In addition, in order to ease movement of accredited freight forwarders who have business to conduct at the ports and other port users; Nigerian Shippers’ Council is providing buses to and from the ports. The buses will leave the following locations at 8am during this period with effect from 1st April, 2020: Festac (by Apple junction), Okokomaiko (at Alakija under bridge), Surulere (by National Stadium), Oshodi (at Charity bus stop) and Ikeja (at Ikeja along bus stop).”