Nigeria’s Ports and COVID-19 – A Brief Review of Measures to Tame the Pandemic – (Part 2)

In our previous article ‘Nigeria’s Ports and COVID-19 – A Brief Review of Measures to Tame the Pandemic’ we discussed the congestion faced in Nigeria’s ports with a focus on the ports in Lagos State (Lagos Port Complex ‘Apapa Quays’ and Tin-Can Island Port) and the explored the solutions to the problems COVID-19 is presenting at the ports.

In today’s article, we would be exploring the safety measures for port operations in light of COVID-19.  

It is no longer news that the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is spreading like wild-fire globally, affecting maritime operations and disrupting the global economy (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) lowered its global GDP forecast by half a percentage point to 2.4%, the lowest rate since the 2008-09 financial crisis).

Approval by the government of most West African countries has been given for the seaports to remain open despite the lockdown being implemented in most West African countries including Nigeria. Most importantly movement of essentials such as food and medical supplies are not restricted across borders.

The Nigerian government is ensuring the seaports remain functional during this lockdown as the nation is still largely import-dependent and the ports still serve as an essential revenue stream for the government through the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); the NCS generated 1.34 trillion in 2019[1] which is approximately 1% of Nigeria’s 2019 nominal GDP[2]. Consignees are being urged to take delivery of cargoes that fall under essential goods to tidy up port operations.

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