The Nigerian Shippers Council in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC and other stakeholders have vowed to enforce the implementation of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual, NPPM to boost port operations.
The agencies noted that violators of the process manual would be arrested and prosecuted
Speaking during a press briefing in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Hassan Bello, said 4,000 containers were trapped in the terminals owing to lack of digitisation of the port operations and corruption which impacted negatively on the nation’s economy.
“Over 4,000 containers are trapped in the terminals making the ports to lose revenue and the economy to bleed. Once you reduce that by implementing the ports manual corruption will disappear”, he said.
Hassan Bello said inorder to have a better port that must be efficient and transparent. transaction must be digital. He said ” We should have a contactless port. Let every agency do what it has to do at the port. The port and it’s terminal is not a storage place for cargoes it’s just a transit place for cargoes where it should exit as soon as it is brought.
“We will ensure people abide by their standard operators procedures as examination and clearance of cargoes is concerned. we are already doing that but All we need is corporation from the agency” he concluded.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the commission, ICPC, Bolaji Owasanonye, said the ICPC was committed to enforcing the Nigerian Ports Process Manual in collaboration with stakeholder agencies and other security agencies.
“This whole process started with the ICPC. We have a robust anti-corruption mandate which calls for study of and review of system with a view identifying loopholes when they are detected and when they detected and closed then corruption will have less chances of taking place.
“The manual explains in a very simplified way, step by step way of what you expect to see at the ports. It is a document worth studying and worth keeping for any Nigerian interested in importing anything outside the country”, he said.
Owasanoye, represented by Azuka Ogugua, said: “we are still interested in making sure that this is complied with. We have said several times it is not enough to have a manual, we need to implement it. Implementing it will boost our economy. It will lead to leakages being closed so that we can boost our economy by attracting investment into the country.
“We are working with the shippers’ council, ports authority and the DSS to fully enforce and ensure that anybody that does not follow these processes as laid down will be subjected to the full process of the law. We will take any step to ensure that the process is not violated”, she said.
Meanwhile, the acting controller general of Custom Hamza Gummi, noted that the e-custom process has been approved. “four of the scanners are coming to Nigeria to ease the process of clearing cargoes the only solution to all these things is Automation and not the standard operating procedure” he noted.
Meanwhile the managing director of National Inland Waterways Authority NIWA, George Moghalu, pledged support for the elimination of corruption. He said NIWA is committed to ensuring movement of cargoes via the inland water ways inorder to decongest the port and reduce pressure on the road infrastructure