Executive Order: Prepare for 24-hour port operations, NPA tells stakeholders
Hadiza Bala Usman, MD NPA
The Nigerian Ports Authority has charged stakeholders operating at the nation’s seaports to gear up for effective cooperation and collaboration towards the actualisation of the 24-hour port operation in line with the Executive Order issued by the Federal Government.
Managing Director of the authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, who gave the charge in Lagos while inspecting cargo handling operations at the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa, said it has become expedient for all stakeholders to strive to ensure total adherence to the presidential order on 24- hour operations at the nation’s seaports.
The MD, who took out time to monitor port operation at the complex from midnight last Saturday to the wee hours of Sunday morning assured that the port environment has been prepared for total compliance to the order.
“In the light of this, all the relevant stakeholders and agencies at the ports are enjoined to work hand in gloves with NPA staff and management in prioritising information sharing as a tool to be utilized in this regards”.
“As we come to the end of the ultimatum on the subject, we must work in unison and create pathways to efficiency. This is why we are in the trenches this night so that the work gets done. Therefore it will be highly appreciated if we go extra mile on compliance and implementation of this regulations”, the MD pleaded.
According to her, there is no room for compromises towards full compliance with the Executive Order, insisting that she was at the port to lead by example in striving for the nation’s seaports and indeed the nation’s economy at large to take its place of pride amongst comity of nations.
The NPA-boss also assured that in the areas of security lighting of the port environment and shift service delivery, the organisation was ready in all ramifications to provide the necessary facilities needed as well as ensuring safety and security of lives and cargoes in line with international statutes.
Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo had recently issued three executive orders that are expected to enhance operational efficiency among agencies of the government, which is in line with the policy of promoting ease of doing business in the country.
These orders specifically directed all agencies currently physically present in nation’s seaports and airports to harmonise their operations into one single interface station domiciled in one location in the port within 60 days and implemented by a single joint task force at all times.
In addition to requiring all agencies to have one single interface station at ports, the orders also outlawed the practice of touting at seaports and airports across the country.
The executive orders also gave specific instructions on a number of policy issues affecting the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country, support for local contents in public procurement by the Federal Government, and timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the Federal Government.
The executive order on promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment was mainly to “create an enabling environment for businesses and entrench measures and strategies aimed at promoting transparency and efficiency”..
The orders read in part: “All agencies currently physically present in Nigerian Ports shall within 60 days harmonise their operations into one single interface station domiciled in one location in the port and implemented by a single joint task force at all times, without prejudice to necessary backend procedures”.
“The new single interface station at each port shall capture, track and record information on all goods arriving and departing from Nigeria and remit captured information to the head of the MDA and the head of the National Bureau of Statistics on a weekly basis.
“Each seaport in Nigeria shall assign an existing export terminal to be dedicated to the exportation of agriculture produce within 30 days of the issuance of this Order.
“The Apapa Port shall resume 24-hour operations within 30 days of the issuance of this Order”.