Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh,
By Barnabas Esiet.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA] has designated Seafarers and Dockworkers in Nigeria as essential workers who should be exempted from travel restrictions.
The exemptions are contained in a new guideline developed and published by the Agency to support essential services in Nigeria’s shipping sector.
The guideline states that the jobs of dockworkers at the country’s seaports, terminals, and jetties are essential to the national economy and, therefore, dockworkers should be granted passage between their places of abode and the seaports/terminals and jetties to perform their duties.
In a statement, the Agency said this In line with the newly endorsed protocols by the International Maritime Organization (IMO] which is designed to lift barriers to crew changes, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Seafarers are on essential duty and as such exempted from the curfew and travel restrictions, which may hinder necessary movement for crew change.” The statement read.
dockworkers in Nigerian port
It directs companies employing the services of seafarers to provide special and dedicated means of transportation to convey them to the designated places, adding that such transport system must be disinfected within the recommended minimum hours.
The guideline specifically provides for the mandatory use of facemasks within all terminals and jetties, mandatory temperature check on all staff before access to terminals, and denial of entry to persons with temperature above 38°C.
According to the statement, Dock labour employers are also to devise methods of ensuring that dockworkers absent from their duties for issues relating to COVlD-19 are quarantined and compensated for the suspension of earnings they suffer as a consequence.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the latest advice is part of efforts by the agency to contain the coronavirus pandemic while also supporting the nation’s economy.