In a swift attempt to intercept about 13 vessels from 5 COVID 19 high risk countries, The management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has notified stakeholders on the affected vessels with Coronavirus (COVID19).The affected countries include; United States, United Kingdom, Spain, India and Brazil.
The vessels, a total of thirteen, are expected to arrive three Nigerian major Sea Ports between June 23 and July 17, of which eight will berth at Apapa, Lagos State, Four in Bonny, Rivers State and One in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
In a statement released by NIMASA, Travel Business gathered that Information about the vessels was received through the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence System (C4i) Centre under the NIMASA Deep Blue Project, also called the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the need to ensure stakeholders adhered strictly to the guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria informed the decision to red-flag the vessels.
Jamoh said “We are counting on the continued cooperation of frontline government agencies and private sector operators in this regard as we jointly wage the war against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He further stated that the advisory was to further alert all agencies of government and private sector operators at the ports of anticipated arrival of the vessels and to demand the highest level of professionalism from all concerned officers in keeping with the Agency’s earlier advice on the handling of such vessels. He added that operators at the ports should ensure all safety measures and precautions in the best interest of the maritime community and the country were fully applied.
NIMASA had earlier given an advisory through a marine notice on the operational procedures for the ingress and egress of vessels arriving from such countries.
Officers of agencies concerned were requested to immediately report any situation or circumstance that might compromise best practices in handling the arrival and discharge of these vessels and others that might be advised in the future.