ITF, Maritime workers union reach out with protective equipment to curtail spread of Covid-19 among vessels crew.

Segun Oladipupo

Captains of ships, Chief Engineers and other members of all the vessels at birth in Lagos ports yesterday benefited from the Personal Protective equipment (PPE) doked  out to seafarers in Lagos.

The exercise, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday in Lagos was made possible by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN).

The distribution of the PPEs to crew on board vessels at berth is part of efforts to avoid seafarers from contacting  Covid-19 disease and to stop further spread of the deadly virus.

While distributing the relief materials at Josepdam terminal, Tin Can Island Port on Thursday, Deputy Secretary General of MWUN, Comrade Abudu Eroje who represented the President General of the Maritime workers union, Comrade Adewale  Adeyanju ,  noted that the programme was put together by the union and ITF in line with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.

“If ITF and the union  can come up with this laudable innovation, then we expect the terminal operators and government agencies to support in the sustainability of this exercise to further prevent the spread of the Coronavirus before it will disappear.

“Federal government is battling on how to cure people affected with the virus but on our own part, we are focusing  on  the prevention of the virus and that is why we are calling on the stakeholders to support the union and ITF on how to sustain this exercise.

“We look forward to the terminal operators and government agencies to support this innovation because if a vessel leaves our port today ,another will berth with different crew onboard and we don’t know where and when they are coming from.

He said the exercise was to share the palliative to seafarers on board vessels in the nation’s territorial waters, adding the union and the federation have a common goal to help prevent further spread of the virus among seamen at the seaports.

The President General said in order to maintain safety of crew in the seaports, there was need to reach out and assist with the essential materials to protect lives.

He added that the members of the union would also reach out to crew on board vessels at the Eastern seaports.

“The pragmatic leadership of comrade Adewale Adeyanju in collaboration with the ITF made this possible and that is why we are here.”

Adeyanju reiterated that all vessels on anchorage  got the PPEs at the Lagos Ports Complex  while Josepdam terminal is the first facility that the Union has visited on Thursday.

“The challenges we had so far is that we trekked from berth 1 to berth 14 at Lagos Port Complex while distributing the PPEs and that will tell you that its the sacrifice we have to pay for us to support in containing the spread of the COVID19 in our ports, Nigerian and the world in general because Seafarers are international workers.

He also urged members at terminals to maintain social distancing and regular washing of hands in furtherance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

On his part, Operations Manager , Josepdam Port Services Nigeria Limited, Mr. Sunday  Aindero lauded the efforts put in place by the union and ITF, saying that the innovation was unique in approach to further prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Aindero called on the union and ITF to sustain the exercise as it would go a long way in curbing the spread of the virus at the seaports.

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