As Buhari orders 14 days lockdown in Lagos
By Kenneth Jukpor
President Mohammadu Buhari’s announcement that Lagos ports would remain operational has left freight forwarders pondering the new mode of operations at the ports with the precarious situation as a result of Covid-19.
Buhari, while addressing the nation on the pandemic this evening stated that the Lagos seaports would remain operational, creating a dilemma for freight agents who retired to their homes last week in compliance to the stay home directive to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
However, the President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike has assured that the leadership of the association would make themselves available to discuss new modus operandi following Buhari’s speech.
Despite insisting that the Lagos ports would remain operational, the President announced the cessation of all movements in Lagos in a lockdown from Monday March 30th, 2020 for 14 days.
ANLCA made this known is a press release obtained by MMS Plus newspaper, which read; “In line with the latest directive of the President of the Federal of Nigeria, His Excellency Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, directing the seaports to remain operational in order to continue to handle essential cargo, even during the 14-day lockdown order in Lagos, commencing at 11pm on Monday, March 30, 2020; we want to assure you that I am currently in consultation with Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) top management to receive the approved operational guidelines for this lockdown period.”
“I expect to receive the full guidelines by tomorrow being Monday, 30th of March, 2020. As we wait for further clarification, I want to use this medium to inform our members that key executives of the association, including myself, will be available to handle any matters that may require the attention of the association either through Phone calls, SMS or WhatsApp messages.”
“Ensure to adhere to all instructions as issued by relevant authorities at this time. Please be safe.”
Recall that the association earlier shut down its secretariat, even as it admonished members to stay home, observe social distancing and adhere to all health safety procedures stipulated by the Ministry of Health.
The freight forwarding association also previously asked the Federal Government to initiate a ‘Force Majeure’ at the seaports to curb monetary losses from demurrages.