Home News MACN  Intensify Efforts to Eradicate Corruption in Maritime  Industry

MACN  Intensify Efforts to Eradicate Corruption in Maritime  Industry

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In its effort to ensure good business integrity in the Maritime Industry, the Maritime Anti Corruption Network(MACN) has taken positive steps to reduce corruption indices by removing barriers that constitute corruption in the ports.
The CEO of the Organisation, Soji Apampa who made this known during a one day workshop on Capacity Building for Freight Forwarders on Business Integrity in the Nigeria Maritime Industry in Lagos on Wednesday, announced that corruption in the shipping sub sector has dropped significantly.
Mr Apampa said having made significant progress in their assignments in the shipping subsector, MACN will now focus on the Cargo clearance in the ports and enjoined the stakeholders in the maritime Industry to do the right thing and do it right in order to keep their integrity as well as achieve excellence.
 The MACN boss  said  the move was aimed to support the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in furtherance to better government response on complaints regarding infractions and to demand greater compliance.
MACN also called on the stakeholders to establish a standard for interaction of private participation with public officials on verifiable and comprehensive discourse.
   On his part, the Anti Corruption Adviser for CBI , Mr. Babatunde Oluajo noted that the role of the  Nigerian Shippers’ Council as ombudsman has added value to port operations as economic regulator.
  He added that corruption at the ports has reduced by 75% in the last four years pointing out that the engagement with freight agents was set up to further sensitise them on the SOP.
The Adviser observed that corruption in  both the shipping and clearing of consignments aspects of the industry have recorded tremendous drop.
 In his keynote address, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers ‘Council, Barrister Hassan Bello noted that the Port Service System Portal (PSSP) is an Intervention established to implement the port sector integrity plan initiative.
  Bello who was represented  by the Zonal Coordinator, South South Zone ,Mr. Ogor Izah recalled that prior to 2016, the port industry was bedeviled with corrupt practices as part of efforts to improve the perception and ranking of Nigeria in the Corruption Indices.
He recalled that the current administration had in 2016, launched the Port Support Service Portal (PSSP) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in order to improve operations, service timelines, efficiency and accountability in the port sector.
“The Nigeria Shippers’ Council as Port Economic Regulator ,Bello said was to establish an enabling environment for all stakeholders by instituting an efficient and effective economic regulatory system
“The SOP spelt quite clearly WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHEN  responsibilities discharged to the public corporate  or statutory mandate,  while in recent time Vice President Prof.Yemi Osinbajo launched the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) to promote transparency eliminate bottlenecks and illegalities “, Bello
.The National President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders(NAGAFF ) Dr. Increase Uche in a chat with Journalists at the event stated that the enlightenment programme was geared towards  building capacity for freight forwarders, how to sanitize the ports adding that stakeholders input was key to enhance port efficiency and elimination of corruption.
 ”It was a collaborative  arrangement between  NAGAFF and Maritime Anti-Corruption Network(MACN) to build capacity for freight forwarding operations, sensitising practitioners particularly on  issues pertaining to corruption at the ports and the digitalization processes to enable the removal of human element barriers that give birth to corruption.
”MACN, with what they represent, they are trying to sanitize the system and there is no Industry that can grow under corruption.
”From collating of SOPs from the government agencies, that is the first step. Let the respective government agencies, service providers tell us how they are carrying out their functions.at the ports.  With that alone, we will be able to access and know the areas we have the bottlenecks and be able to address the salient areas,” he opined.
Also speaking , former National President of NAGAFF , Eugene Nweke who spoke with newsmen shortly after his paper presentation , stressed that corruption starts from the government and its not limited to the agencies of the maritime industry.

”Corruption starts from the government. The Executive are culpable  in the maritime corruption, the Legislature are culpable in the maritime corruption, the Judiciary are. also culpable in the maritime corruption, the importer is culpable too,” he stated.

Dr. Nweke said government appointment  of non professional to head maritime agencies can best be described as corruption.

Contributing, the Vice President, Nigeria Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators, Mr. Tony Onyeiwe emphasised the need for institutional standard  by the Regulators for those who want to operate in the Industry, stressing, ” should not be for everybody, all comers, school drop outs but for qualified persons.”

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