Africa: Nigeria Beams Searchlight On Vessels From India, Brazil, S’africa Over Covid-19 Resurgence

Lagos — Due to the resurgence of new strain of COVID-19, the federal government is paying special attention to vessels arriving from Brazil, South Africa and India into Nigerian ports.

In a press statement issued on Friday by the deputy director, public relations of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mrs Rakiya Yagboyaju, a copy of which was made available to LEADERSHIP, said that the director of Port Health Services, Dr. Geoffrey Okatubo, said that due to the emergence of the new strain of the COVID-19 virus, the service waa beaming its searchlight on the vessels coming from India, Brazil and South Africa.

Okatubo made the disclosure when the Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, paid a working visit to the Port Health Services (PHS) in Abuja.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary, Shippers’Council, Hassan Bello emphasised the need to clean up the ports by embracing orderliness, efficiency and zero corruption.

He described the NPPM as a useful and important manual that all relevant agencies in the port system should abide by.

He stated that since doing business at the ports was tied to time, there was a need for the Port Health Services, as the first agency to interact with vessels and crew, to reduce the time spent onboard, by performing their inspection between 30 – 45 minutes with a maximum of three officers.

Bello added that the turnaround time for ships can also be reduced through a pre-arrival communication between the vessels and the PHS, so that every activity performed on arrival of vessels on Nigeria’s shores would be for verification alone.