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COVID-19: IOM, UK govt. provides equipment to 19 Ports of Entry in Nigeria

By Our reporter

Nov. 27, 2020 - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the government of the United Kingdom has provided equipment and materials to nineteen Ports of Entry (POE) in Nigeria to strengthen their response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The IOM and the British High Commission (BHC), Abuja handed over Personal Protective Equipment, sanitation and hygiene supplies and computers to the Ports Health Services (PHS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Friday in Abuja.

The project aims to strengthen the capacity of Point of Entries to boost preparedness and response efforts of frontline responders in dealing with the new dynamics of border control and management amidst COVID-19.

Mr Frantz Celestin, IOM Chief of Mission in Nigeria said that now more than ever, there is a need to collectively ensure that frontline agencies are protected so that they can effectively manage the vast national borders.

Celestin who was represented by Ms Yuki Daizumuto, Programme Coordinator, International Border Management, IOM said that IOM will continue to support Nigeria for safe migration especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition to the consignment you see today for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, there are various PPEs and hygiene supplies in stock for 19 air, sea and land border points across the country.

“I am very honored to hand over these items today to PHS and NIS as testament of the commitment from the British Government and IOM to support border management in Nigeria.

“Provision of PPE and other essential item is a big component of this project, but only one of the portfolios.

“IOM will continuously support the Federal Government of Nigeria and relevant agencies to enhance capacities for better border management and safe migration for all,” Celestin said.

Ms Bill Atkinson, Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission in Abuja said when the virus began earlier this year, the UK government recognised the need to quickly adapt its existing projects and programmes and create new ones.

She said that this necessitated the need to provide immediate support to Nigeria, one of our most important international partners.

“As international travel became less regular, but more risky from a health perspective, our migration programme team considered two questions:

“How could we help front line staff at Nigerian points of entry get the tools they need to work safely when those borders reopen, and by extension make it a safer environment for travelers too?

“How could we contribute to enhancing the capacity of those front line services to work together in the medium to long term?

“This new project is an excellent example of what can be achieved, despite the variety of challenging conditions imposed upon us by the virus, through strong collaboration.

“In little over four weeks the project went from a concept paper to commencement, and credit goes to all involved in making that happen, at IOM, Port Health Services, NIS, and the BHC.

“Today’s event marks the handover of PPE equipment to 19 points of entry, and we are happy that our migration programming will have such a wide geographical benefit.

“This of course is just the first step, and further support will soon arrive in the shape of: the supply of ambulances to Port Harcourt and Kano airports.

“Isolation facilities at Apapa and Warri Seaports, and the two Northern mega land borders at Illella (ILLELLA) and Jibiya and the installation of thermal scanners for all 5 international airports,” Atkinson said.

In his remarks, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the project has strengthened existing collaboration with sister government agencies and the project will contribute to vital response and recovery activities.

Ehanire said it would also renew preparedness and capacity to cope with resumption of full international travel,” Ehanire said.

The project named ‘'Immediate Response to Covid-19 Pandemic for Effective Border Management in Nigeria” is sponsored by the Government of the United Kingdom and implemented by the IOM.

The equipment handed over includes: 100 pieces of hand sanitizers, 82 boxes of gloves, 512 boxes of surgical masks, 20 pieces of infrared thermometers and batteries, 208 pieces of Tyvek overall suit.

Other items includes: 186 pieces of disposable surgical gowns, 38 pieces of knapsack sprayers, 38 pieces of fogging machine, and liters of Organophosphorous and Chlorine.

The Humanitarian Post

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