In the bid to fight corruption and ensure full implementation of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual, top government agencies have inaugurated a Port Standing Task Team in the eastern ports of Port Harcourt and Onne.
The agencies include Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and Nigerian Ports Authority.
The team, which was inaugurated in Port Harcourt, was charged with the responsibility of ensuring that standard procedures were followed in carrying out transactions at the ports.
The team is to strictly carry out necessary anti-corruption activities that would help dismantle the corruption network fuelling the traffic logjam within the port area.
It is also to carry out regular operations in the ports to generate evidence-based infractions against the Standard Operating Procedures, NPPM and the Ease-of-Doing-Business Policy of the Federal Government.
The Port Standing Task Team is to engage in quick enforcement actions including sting operations, on identified areas based on regular intelligence.
The ICPC Head of Investigation, Hassan Mohammed, who represented the commission’s chairman, charged the team to be diligent in carrying out its duties geared towards reducing corruption in Nigeria.
Also, the Zonal Director, South-South of the NSC, Mr Ogor Israel, observed that the basic aim of setting up the task team was to ensure efficiency and make Nigerian ports one of the best places to do business.
He predicted that very soon insecurity at the ports, especially eastern ports, would become a thing of the past and that business would start booming in the zone.
Earlier, Mr. Moses Fadipe who represented the Executive Secretary/CEO of the NSC, made a presentation on the overview of the NPPM and Port Service Support Portal.
He highlighted the essence of the Ports Manual and its importance to reducing corruption in the maritime sector, and enjoined all stakeholders to cooperate with the team in curbing unethical behaviour at the ports.
The Acting Managing Director of NPA, Mr. Mohammed Koko, in his goodwill message said the NPPM is fully funded by the NPA as part of its contribution towards creating a transparent and efficient port system that aligns with the concept of the Presidential Order on Ease-of-Doing-Business in the Nigerian port sector.
Other stakeholders such as terminal operators and cargo owners spoke at the inauguration, promising to support the team with information and report any observed infractions.
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