Stakeholders in the maritime sector have reiterated their commitments to full implementation of Nigeria’s Port Process Manual (NPPM) following its importance to port processes and the nation’s economy.
They told newsmen on Friday that the process was already yielding positive results as the rate of port infractions had reduced within a short period.
The stakeholders spoke in Abuja, after a roundtable feedback meeting on implementation of the NPPM.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Magdalene Ajani, said:”The process is now bringing everybody on board.
“The agencies work together, they know they are being monitored and so we are beginning to have clarity and less of corrupt practices within vessels that are coming into Nigeria waters. I think this is quite an impressive thing.
“Despite the achievements we have gotten in such a short time, we also have challenges and unfortunately some of the challenges are coming from sister agencies within the Federal Ministry of Transport.
“It shows us where to shine our searchlight on to make sure they work collaboratively as agencies and parastatals within the ministry for us to be able to achieve what the port process manual is supposed to achieve.
“And that is having ease of doing business in the maritime and port sub-sector being very efficient. We will work at it.
“I charge NPA to make sure they do what they need to do to get this working very well.
“Our terminal operators have also been indicted, my advise to them is that they should cooperate and make sure that we all do what is needful and expected of every player within the national port process manual.
“Nobody is above the law and we are going to ensure that the law works, we are going to ensure that our ports work. Digitisation is the way to go.
“We will encourage that we all digitise our processes and we know that when we do this, we’ll probably be getting to the point where goods coming into Nigeria ports can be cleared within 72 hours.”
The Executive Secretary , Nigeria’s Shippers Council (NSC), Mr Emmanuel Jime, said progress had been made so far based on the report but a lot still needed to be done as regards collaboration of agencies.
“It is highly important that if we are going to attain the objective, it is to make sure that our ports are efficient in order for us to take our pride of place as a maritime hub in this sub region of the continent..
“That will mean that the extent to which the agencies that are involved in operating the manual, the extent to which we are collaborating and cooperating with each other, is the extent to which we are likely to be successful.
“Have we made some progress substantially, are we there where we want to be? No.
“At the moment, the fact still remains that since the establishment of the platform, in respect to the funding, it is only the shippers council that solely has the responsibility for funding the activities and that isn’t how it should be,”Jime noted.
The executive secretary expressed optimism that with the presence of the Minister of Transport and his Permanent Secretary, the manual would be given every support necessary to succeed.
On his part, the National Coordinator, Port Standing Task Team, Mr Moses Fadipe, who presented the report, said infractions in the ports declined from 226 in 2019 to 12 in 2021.
Fadipe said about 33 suspects had also been arrested by the taskforce for infractions within a short space of time, reiterating that with digitisation, that infractions would be eliminated as there would be no human contact.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria