Spread the love
Photo: From Left:National Coordinator, Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), Mr. Moses Fadipe (left); Secretary, National Trade Facilitation Committee, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Mr. Abdullahi Usman; Representative of Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Solomon Zaks; Chairperson, Apapa Local Government, Mrs. Idowu Senbanjo; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Emmanuel Jime; Associate Director, Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), Mr. Vivek Menon and Co-founder/Chief Executive Officer, Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) Nigeria, Mr. Soji Apampa at the CBI and MACN Port Users’ Conference held in Ikeja,

The Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry has stressed the need to  make the ports in Nigeria operational  as the country is preparing for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, ACFTA

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry  of trade , Industry and Investment,   Dr Evelyn Ngige stated this at the Maritime Anti- Corruption Network and the Convention of Business Integrity  Port Users Conference  on retooling the Maritime Sector for stronger Economic Growth held in Lagos
Dr Ngige  who was represented by Mr. Abdullahi  Usman called on them to proffer solutions that would make the  Nigerian Ports user- friendly while identifying high cost -regulatory fees as one of the reasons why Importers did not use Nigerian ports.
She noted that dredging of ports, trade hubs and addressing security issues, congestion at the Lagos ports especially, giving out contracts for drainage of seaports to enable bigger vessels to Bert on them would chart a new  cause for the country,
“Issue of congestion has to be addressed especially the Lagos Ports when we have Warri, Onne and Calabar Seaports.Calabar port is coming up but more gas to be done. Improve in the standard of our products being exported so that it could
Speaking also, the Minister
Of Transportation, Alhaji Muazu Sambo, commended the initiative of the Maritime Anti- Corruption Network (MACN) to eliminate corruption and infractions from the nation’s port operations and sustaining a collective actions.
Zambo represented by Mr. Solomon Zaks  opined that the Nigerian Maritime sector under the  federal Ministry of transport has achieved several successes in the last decade, adding that more would be achieved  while stressing need to reform infrastructure policy and operation.
 He pointed out that his administration would be focusing on the project steering committee on corruption, risk assessment ports and it’s critical stakeholders, our recorded achievements, the challenges, where we are going, our map of development and Investment opportunities.
“Presently, port administration is at the stage that the port users are able to demand fair charge and ensure greater compliant to Standard Operations Procedure by government agencies in the port”, he added.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Emanuel Jime in his speech  called for more support to  the maritime industry  to enhance its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to Jime, as an import-dependent nation, it is critical for the government to support and pay more attention to the industry’s issues and needs to allow the industry realise its full potential.
He sued for investment in infrastructure, provision of rail linkages and development of other transportation modes for cargo evacuation in the Nigerian Ports.
The NSC Boss also stressed the need for synergy among government agencies involved in port operations to adequately address issues of overlapping functions. sustenance of the implementation of Ease of Doing Business Action.
“Also needed is the speedy passage of proposed Port Reform Bills at the Presidency and National Assembly and Implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note,” he said.
He pointed out some of the interventions by NSC to reposition the industry include the removal of over 70 illegal checkpoints along the lagos port corridors, improved the number of containers examined daily from an average of 120 in the past to 230 containers, provision of indicative freight rate, setting standards for service delivery, provision if guideline for tariff setting, Harmonised tariff nomenclature.
While the task team,  Jime continued, had succeeded in removing over 70 illegal check points along the Lagos port road as well as reduction in the number of incidence of vessel infractions.
Earlier in his address, Mr. Soji Apampa co-founded, CBI, said the purpose of the conference was to examine the policies, practices, opportunities, and next steps in addressing the lingering challenges in port operations.
He noted that these challenges affected all categories of stakeholders in the maritime sector.
“The conference will also evaluate the extent to which the strategies and tools, like the introduction of Standard Operating Procedures, Grievance Reporting Mechanisms and Learning Management System deployed through MACN Nigeria Project improve institutional compliance practices,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *