Nigerian maritime workers, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at the nation’s ports, is collaborating with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) to support the sector with protective devices across the federation.
President-general of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Adewale Adeyanju, said the union, with the aid of the international body is launching a sensitisation programme and distribution of palliatives as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), including hand sanitisers, gloves, face masks and infrared thermometers, to seafarers in all ports across the country.
At a ceremony in Lagos to launch the initiative, Adeyanju said the programme was made possible through collaboration with ITF, who provided the counterpart grant. On the distribution of the PPE, Adeyanju said the union would commence with the Lagos ports and thereafter move to other ports in Calabar, Port Harcourt, Onne and Warri this week, as part of MWUN’s effort at this period to prevent further spread of the coronavirus among seafarers.
He said, “In the last three months, the spate of COVID-19 spread in Nigeria has reached alarming proportions with over 20,000 confirmed cases and hundreds of deaths.
“Despite this, you still continue to expose yourselves by providing essential services and ensuring that economies keep running.”
The MWUN boss, who expressed appreciation to the ITF for providing counterpart funding for the PPE, said, “The ITF to which our union is affiliated is a world confederation of transport unions with affiliates from about 157 countries spread through all continents of the world and a membership strength running into millions. We want to use this opportunity to thank the ITF for providing support in this most trying time, we also thank Bro. Steve Cotton – ITF General Secretary and his entire team for this awesome support to our teeming seafarers.”
The union leader also recalled that the ITF was first brought into Nigeria in 1978 through the effort of Joseph Abam, the then Secretary of the defunct Dockworkers union.