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Nigeria's halt to barge services in coronavirus crisis well received

THE president of the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) Edeme Kelikume has commended the efforts of comptroller general of Customs Hameed Alli for the closure of barge services in the Nigeria waterways due to the coronavirus pandemic

26 March 2020 - 12:54

THE president of the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) Edeme Kelikume has commended the efforts of comptroller general of Customs Hameed Alli for the closure of barge services in the Nigeria waterways due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The president said at a press briefing at Rockview Hotel Apapa that all other sectors should comply in order to stay safe as he has ensured that all his members are not found guilty of allegations against them with regards to barge diversion.



He said that the association has put a task force in place to check the activities of members who may be unwilling to comply. 'I can tell you, so far so good the association has only recorded only one mishap, issue of container that fell inside water,' Mr Kelikume was quoted as saying.



He said that the introduction of moving containers by barge on water ways has helped to relieve the traffic gridlock a great deal. The system, which was newly introduced last year in Lagos, has been in place in places like Warri for a long time ago, and it has reduced incidents of containers falling on people and all other mishaps.



He said that 300 TEU were moved via barges last year in Lagos and 'if we are to rate our performance, we are on 30 per cent performance now due to what is happening in the nation, we are still in operation but on minimal basis.'



Mr Kelikume lamented that the service lacks capacity development and that it is not accessible to cabotage funds, adding: 'High cost of equipment is really slowing than our figures of output. We are not fully accessible to APMT and you all know that access to barge operation is very important just as safety is of importance.'


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