Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello flanked on his right by the Director, Regulatory Services, Ms. Ifeoma Ezedinma and on his left by the Director, Consumer Affairs, Chief Cajetan Agu during the presentation of health and safety materials to some stakeholders during the sensitisation programme in Lagos.

Francis Ezem

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council has rounded off the first phase of its COVID-19 sensitisation programme for the maritime community.

The three-day event, which started on Wednesday the 13th of May, 2020, kicked off at the headquarters of the council where the Executive Secretary/CEO, Mr. Hassan Bello was joined by the council’s Directors, Regulatory Services and Consumer Affairs, Ms. Ifeoma Ezedinma and Chief Cajetan Agu respectively in presenting hand gloves, sanitisers and face masks to the leaders of seven trucking associations.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Bello said NSC considered it part of its responsibility to ensure the safety of truckers as they are salient elements not only in the supply chain but also in Nigeria’s economy. He commended them for their cooperation in acceding to NSC’s request to reduce their haulage charges by 30per cent during the period of the lockdown.

He reminded them that they are primarily responsible for their own well-being. He urged them to do everything to stay safe as their families and the nation need them.

Responding on behalf of the trucking associations, Comrade Stephen Okafor, Coordinator of Committee of Maritime Truck Unions & Associations, COMTUA, commended the ES, describing him as a partner in progress. He assured him of their cooperation in resetting Nigeria’s post-COVID-19 economy. 

The sensitisation programme then moved to the terminals and shipping companies where the Hygienist for the National Centre for Disease Control NCDC, Moji Ayorinde under the supervision of the head, Emergency Operations and National Response Team on COVID-19 in Lagos State, Dr. Everistus Aniaku gave talks on how to protect oneself from contracting COVID-19. She demonstrated the correct method to wear a mask, hand washing, hand sanitisation and physical distancing among others.

It was gathered that more than 100 stakeholders attended this first phase of the programme. Participants were made up of freight forwarders and staffers of the shipping companies and terminal operators. The attentive participants at the various locations engaged the NCDC team with questions as well as seeking clarifications.

The participants were enjoined to spread the information on how to prevent the spread of the virus to their various places of operations as the physical distancing requirement could not allow many other stakeholders within the different terminals and shipping companies to attend the sessions.

A highpoint of the event was the presentation of face masks and hand sanitisers to the participants courtesy of Nigerian Shippers’ Council.