COVID-19: Seaports In Lagos To Remain Operational As City Goes On Lock Down

 

All seaports in Lagos are to remain operational even as the metropolis is set to undergo a total lock down following the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari.

As part of the Federal Government’s drive to curb the spread of COVID-19, President Buhari had on Sunday instructed that Lagos, Ogun and Abuja be locked down totally for an initial period of fourteen days.

The President, however, noted  in his national broadcast that all seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with stipulated guidelines.

He added that vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from the ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

READ ALSO: Nominate Doctors, Nurses To Fight COVID-19, Buhari Urges Governors

The President ordered that all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into the cities on lock down, will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter the restricted areas.

In accordance with the directive, President Buhari directed the Hon. Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to restricted zones.

Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, were also suspended, with special permits to be issued on a needs basis.

According to President Buhari, his government is fully aware that the new measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens.

He, however, stressed that this is a matter of life and death, keeping in view, the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.

President Buhari urged Nigerians to see this move as a collective national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.

“As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19.

“Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results,” President Buhari said.

He promised that residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, shall get relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.

NAFDAC Back At Borders To Monitor Imports

 

 

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) and with the active support of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Ministry of Transport has been returned to the seaports and borders.

According to the agency, this is to effectively control importation of unregulated products, falsified and substandard drugs, unwholesome foods, narcotic drugs and hazardous chemical substances and foods into the country.

NAFDAC said it received the notice on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in a letter dated 29th March, 2018 from the office of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as part of the PEBEC reforms.

In a statement signed on Thursday, the Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, said thousands of Nigerians have died because of falsified and substandard medicines.

He also noted that the development became even more necessary following a recently released documentary on codeine abuse.

He said: “Many are currently ill, most likely due to unwholesome foods, drugs and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances, such as codeine, tramadol,
pentazocine, etc. These are partly due to exclusion of NAFDAC from our ports since 2011. The recent documentary on codeine abuse brought more attention to the issue”.

He further stated that apart from the dangers posed to public health, drug abuse weakens and slows down economic and national development, as well as “increases the threats to national security”.

“The need for return of NAFDAC officials to the Ports and borders has been emphasized in different fora by the new NAFDAC’s DG but received a boost in the Communique issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser at the end of the National Chemical Security Training Conference in Abuja on 16th March, 2018.

The theme of the conference was “Towards a Secured Importation, Distribution, Storage and Use of Chemicals in Nigeria,” the statement noted.

The agency expressed gratitude to the Office of the NSA, the Chemical Society of Nigeria, The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), among other key stakeholders for recognizing it as a key player in the national security architecture,

It therefore, promised that with the help of Nigerian Customs Service, the Shippers Council and other sister agencies, it will “ensure that products that pose danger to the population are controlled at the point of entry.

“In addition, the presence of NAFDAC at the ports and borders will reduce significantly the evasion of payments of statutory fees for importation of regulated products, thus increasing the Agency’s internally generated revenue and that of the Federal Government,” the agency stated.