First Portable Communication Pod declared open for seafarers in port of Tin Can Island, Nigeria
The first in a planned series of innovative portable communication ‘pods’ to enable visiting seafarers to contact family and friends at home has been formally opened in one of Nigeria’s busiest ports.
The specially adapted 20ft solar panelled container is designed to accommodate up to 15 seafarers at a time, giving them access to wi-fi, tablet consoles and connection sockets. The pods have been developed by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust in response to concerns that changes in shipping operations are preventing many crew members from visiting traditional seafarers’ centres and getting access to the internet when visiting ports around the world.
The first portable communication pod was declared open for seafarers on 18 July 2019 in the port of Tin Can Island, Lagos, by Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Given the notorious traffic problems in Lagos, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust anticipates that the pod will meet a pressing need to improve accessible services for seafarers. The Trust paid tribute to ‘the tireless work of the NSWBN (National Seafarers’ Welfare Board of Nigeria), who are managing the project, for bringing together the authorities, the unions and other maritime stakeholders to make this happen’.
Dave Heindel, Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust said: “It’s a great day for seafarers in the port of Lagos – projects like this make seafarers feel like they haven’t been forgotten in the maelstrom of commerce and logistics of this sometimes challenging and busy port.”
Katie Higginbottom, Head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust added: “The pods project meets a very real need for seafarers who still have limited access internet onboard and can’t always get outside the port area… We hope it will also become a hub for seafarers to connect with other people providing services in the port and beyond. I’m very happy to see the first of the pods open and ready for use. This is the first of five around the globe, so look forward to more announcements soon.”
For further information contact: Mary Bollan, Office and Communications Manager, ITF Seafarers’ Trust