A Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen once said “a community is like a ship, everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”
Nigerian gallant donors took the helm when COVID-19 posed a great challenge on the nation’s survival in 2020 even though their contributions were like a rent they also had to pay for room here on earth as no one was safe or immune to the virus.
Nigeria’s first case of the deadly and fast spreading virus was recorded on February 27, 2020 and soared to over 100,000 cases within months despite the fact that the Federal Government had assured its citizens that it was prepared to tackle the virus when there were reports of the ravage it was causing in some countries towards the end of 2019.
The world was faced with the worst public health crisis in more than 100 years, and it became obvious that the fight was not for the Federal or State Governments alone and citizens or organisations needed to wade in and support the fight against the virus which seemed ready to wipe out many people from earth and also send businesses into extinction.
Among the organisations that gave the Government a hand were Port concessionaires under the aegis of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN).
The Port concessionaires collectively donated the sum of N700million to the Federal Government to support the country’s effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
APM Terminals Apapa Limited, ENL Consortium Limited and Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL), all operating at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, donated N150 million; N70 million and N10 million respectively to the COVID-19 Relief Fund Account at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) and Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) both at the Tin Can Island Port Complex donated N100million each while Port & Cargo Handling Services; Five Star Logistics, and Josepdam Port Services, who are also operators at the Tin Can Island Port Complex, donated N75million; N75million and N60million respectively.
Also, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), Onne Port donated N50million, while ECM Terminal, Calabar Port donated N10million.
Terminal operators also made donations of various personal protective items such as face masks, hand gloves, coveralls, hand sanitizers and infrared thermometers to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other government agencies at the various port locations across the country.
For not closing their eyes to the urgent needs of the society especially when shipping and port operations were badly affected by the pandemic, Nigeria’s Seaport Terminal Operators are #ALEDEHCOVID-19Heroes of the week.