By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Hassan Bello has stressed the need to reduce cargo dwell time at Nigerian ports from 21 days to the regional average of 7 days, even as the agency begins implementation of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM)
Meanwhile, critical government agencies including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Nigeria Customs Service have all pledged support for the Shippers Council in implementation of the NPPM.
The NPPM was launched by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on December 9, 2020 in Abuja and he announced the appointment of Nigerian Shippers’ Council as the lead agency to implement the NPPM.
NPPM is to enable Nigeria improve its ranking on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI)
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council yesterday in Abuja hosted a sensitization meeting for government agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector on the implementation of the NPPM.
The meeting was held at the instance of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Honorable Chibuike Amaechi who underscored the importance of the NPPM and the need to sanitize Nigeria’s port system.
Amaechi in his keynote address emphasized the enormity of the responsibility placed the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for driving the process and urged government agencies and the generality of the public to cooperate with NSC.
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr Hassan Bello
said that the Nigerian Ports Process manual is key to transparency in Nigerian ports.
“There is a need to reduce dual time of cargo from 21 days to the regional average of 7 days”, he said.
“NSC is not only looking at the ease of doing business but at the cost of doing business”, he continued. He added that the electronic call up system by the Nigerian Ports Authority would aid in easing the current traffic situation around the port.
He sought for the cooperation of sister agencies to ensure the manual is fully implemented in order to improve the ranking of Nigeria in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
Managing Director Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman at the meeting said that the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of the various agencies in the maritime sector are closely tied therefore the need for seamless cooperation and integration of relevant agencies. The NPA she promised would ensure compliance to the manual and implement sanctions for non-complaince.
Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh, spoke on some of the challenges in the sector. They include insecurity and corruption.
According to him 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.
Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, represented by Acting Comptroller, Tariff, NCS – Suleiman Chiroma said that there is a need for the Nigerian Customs Service to deploy sophisticated modern scanners to replace physical examination. He added that at the time of physical examination, all relevant agencies should be present and failure to comply would mean exemption.
Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Professor Bolaji Owasanoye in his speech said government agencies are not powerless, they have enforcement powers and it is time to effectively use these enforcement powers. He pledged the support of his agency to implement the NPPM.
Governor of Lagos State, represented by the Lagos State Commissioner of Transportation – Dr. Fredrick Oladeyinde said the Lagos state is on top of the Apapa gridlock situation. “We are working with the NPA to make sure 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 ensure we develop the best port system in Africa”, he said.
Head Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR) Ms. Lillian Ekeanyanwu
also applauded the collaboration of the NSC and other agencies in realizing the NPPM.
“We have confidence in the NSC and NPA and we would issue a scorecard on performance”, she said.
Registra of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Barrister Sam Nwakohu congratulated the Shippers Council for a job well started. He spoke on the importance of collaboration amongst the maritime agencies which freight forwarders rely upon to ease their business. He added that the manual is a good initiative that would improve the nation’s economy.