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Covid-19: NIMASA’s advisory on vessels from high risk countries belated

Findings by Business Hilights over the weekend has shown that the Covid-19 alert advisory on vessels coming from high risk nations on June 27, 2020 issued by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was belated, meaning that some of the vessels that had arrived may have contributed in soaring the infections in Lagos.

Recall that since last week, Lagos had remained the epicentre.

The Management of the NIMASA had on June 27, notified stakeholders about 13 vessels from five countries heavily affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Eight of the vessels are expected to berth in Apapa, Lagos; four in Bonny, Rivers State; and one in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Stakeholders’, who barred their minds on the time of the advisory, decried the lateness considering the fact that it came when about six or seven had arrived possibly unnoticed, thus causing avoidable risks to Nigerian workers who may have taken part in offloading contents of the vessels.

The information about the vessels, expected to arrive the three Nigerian ports between June 23 and July 17, 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.

In his remarks, the 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.

He 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,” Jamoh stated.

The Director-General said the advisory was to further alert all agencies of government and private sector operators at the ports of expected 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.

Below is the list of vessels and the details of their expected voyage to Nigerian ports.

LIST OF VESSELS ARRIVING NIGERIA FROM HIGH RISK COVID-19 PANDEMIC COUNTRIES

S/NNAME OF VESSELPREVIOUS PORT OF CALLDESTINATIONETA
1.EBONY RAYUnited StatesApapa-Lagos23/06/2020
2.NORD SUPREMEUnited Kingdom, ImminghamApapa-Lagos25/06/2020
3.GASLOG WARSAWSpain, FerrolBonny, Nigeria26/06/2020
4.DESERT PEACEUnited States, HoustonApapa-Lagos26/06/2020
5.SHANGHAI EAGLESpain, GarruchaApapa-Lagos25/06/2020
6.KATRINA THERESASpain Algeciras BayApapa, Lagos25/06/2020
7.HARMONICSpain, EscomberasBonny, Nigeria27/06/2020
8.DESERT HOPEBrazil SantosApapa-Lagos01/07/2020
9.STENA CLEAR SKYIndia, DahejBonny, Nigeria04/07/2020
10.MUSKYUnited StatesPort Harcourt, Nigeria07/07/2020
11.VECTIS OSPREYUnited States, HoustonApapa-Lagos11/07/2020
12.GRANDE ISLANDUnited States, HoustonApapa-Lagos11/07/2020
13.LNG BONNY IIIndia, DahejBonny Nigeria17/07/2020