The Nigerian Shippers’ Council on Tuesday in Abuja hosted a sensitisation meeting for government agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector on the implementation of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual.
This was conveyed in a statement signed by the Head Public Relations Unit of the NSC, Mrs Rakiya Zubairu.
According to Zubairu, the meeting was held at the instance of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, who, among other top echelon of the transportation ministry, attended the programme to underscore the importance of the NPPM and the need to sanitise Nigeria’s port system.
Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, launched the NPPM on December 9, 2020 in Abuja and appointed the NSC as the lead agency to implement the NPPM.
During the launch, Osinbajo had said that NPPM would enable Nigeria improve its ranking on the Corruption Perception Index.
Amaechi emphasised the enormity of the responsibility placed on the NSC for driving the process and urged government agencies and the public to cooperate with the council.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Fredrick Oladeyinde, said that state was on top of the Apapa gridlock situation.
“We are working with NPA to ensure that truck parks are established along logistics routes. Lagos has given out 31 hectares of land for these truck parks, for instance. We will continue to work with key stakeholders to develop the best port system in Africa,” he said.
Meanwhil, the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hassan Bello, said that the NPPM was key to transparency in Nigerian ports.
“There is need to reduce dwell time of cargo from 21 days to the regional average of seven days,” Bello said.
According to him, the council is not looking at the ease of doing business, but at the cost.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, fingered insecurity and corruption as some of the challenges in the sector.
According to the DG, the methods of addressing these issues are embedded in the NPPM.
“Our industry can only be sustained in terms of economic growth, if we have sustainable systems in place to make our ports attractive,” he said.
The Managing Director, of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman, said that the Key Performance Indicators of the various agencies in the maritime sector were closely tied; hence the need for seamless cooperation and integration of relevant agencies.
The NPA boss promised to ensure compliance to the manual and implement sanctions for non-compliance.
The Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, represented by the Acting Comptroller, Tariff, Suleiman Chiroma, stressed the need for the service to deploy sophisticated modern scanners to replace physical examination.
Meanwhile, Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Sam Nwakohu, congratulated the council for a job well started.
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, said, “The agencies are not powerless; they have enforcement power. It is time to effectively use these enforcement powers. We pledge our support to implement the NPPM.”