COVID-19: Shippers’ Council Shutdown Offices, Orders Staff To Work From Home

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In the wake of the spread of Coronavirus (Convid-19), the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has taken measures to contain the spread of the virus as directed by the Federal Government  as it yesterday announced partial shutdown of its offices and direct staff to work from home.

Also, the general manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Engr Adam Jatto said there is no directive for shutdown of offices or for any of their staff to work from home.

But, Shippers’ Council in a memo directing workers to work from home titled “Suspension of work and partial closure of offices,” the management said all staff are to work from home except those on essential services (Medical, Complaints Handling, and General Services).

The council who said it has taken measures to contain the spread of the disease within its offices and among its staff and stakeholders but the measures may not be sufficient to prevent infection as the virus is a global disease that scientists and medics are still trying to understand.

The memo reads, “Following the latest report from the National Council for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Government regarding the Corona Virus pandemic (Convid-19) in Nigeria especially Lagos. which confirms clear and present danger, the management after due consultations with the Medical Unit wishes to observe as follows that although the Council has already taken some necessary measure aimed  at preventing the spread of the virus within its offices and among its staff and stakeholders.

“It has become apparent that these measures may not be sufficient to prevent infection as the virus is a global disease that scientists and medics are still trying to understand. What Is apparent in the meantime is that the person-to-person Infectivity rate of the virus is unprecedentedly high which is why organizations, globally are wisely adopting the precautionary measure of suspending activities and closing down offices while watching developments on the pandemic.”

“Accordingly, the management wishes to hereby direct that all meetings especially external seminars, conferences are hereby suspended indefinitely. All staff except those on essential services (i.e. Medical, Complaints Handling, and General Services) are hereby directed to remain and work from home  until further notice.”

The council also advised staff who travelled from countries with high incidences of Convid-19 to self-isolate themselves for 14 days to watch out for symptoms of the virus.

“All staff who recently returned from countries with high incidences of COVID 19 are hereby directed to seIf-isolate for 14 days with effect from today and their heath conditions and the Medical Unit is hereby directed to monitor the situation among staff and remain accessible to all staff for possible assistance.

During the period, any staff with any of the widely publicized symptoms of the virus should please contact the Medical Unit for possible assistance and the General Services Department is hereby directed to ensure the availability of Council’s Ambulance and other staff vehicles for essential services and also ensure that the security and safety of the Council’s offices and assets are not, in any way, compromised during and after the period of the work suspension.

All staff are generally advised to conduct themselves responsibly and embrace the widely publicized precautionary measures on COVID -19 such as social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and basic hygiene requirements to ensure their safety. All staff are encouraged to, as much as possible continue to work from home on pending assignments,” the memo reads.

However, the deputy director, Public Relations, Isichie Osamgbi of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said until Monday, before decision can be taken on whether workers will be asked to work from home or not.

Dunioh Gideon

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