ICPC canvasses joint vessel inspection by maritime agencies …As Peterside says transparency, integrity, crucial to industry growth
Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside flanked on the left by the Director, Public Enlightenment and spokesperson of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, Mrs. Rashidat Okoduwa, and the right by the Director, Legal Services of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council NSC, Mr. Samuel Vongtau during a joint courtesy visit by the ICPC and NSC to the management of NIMASA in Lagos recently.
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The acting chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar has made a strong case for all government agencies in the maritime industry to carry out joint inspection of vessels at the ports in order to fully actualise the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that transparency and integrity are crucial elements that must be put in place in order to engender an efficient and robust maritime industry in line with Federal Government’s initiative on the Ease of Doing Business at the seaports
Dr. Abubakar, who was represented by the Director, Public Enlightenment and spokesperson of the commission, Mrs. Rashidat Okoduwa, during a courtesy visit to the management of NIMASA, said that joint examination of vessels will enhance a quick turn-around-time of vessels calling at the nation’s seaports and also bring about efficiency.
He also stated that activities at the ports will no longer be business as usual for operators and others who have yet to comply with the ease of doing business initiative, a development that accounts for why the commission is seeking partnership with NIMASA and other agencies to join in the resolve to ensure a business friendly and conducive maritime industry in Nigeria.The NIMASA DG, who played host to the commission insisted that transparency and integrity remain key ingredients in achieving an efficient port systems in line with the with the Ease of Doing Business initiative.
He said: “We must be conscious of our international image because people who do business in our ports have alternatives. We must strive to make our ports user friendly and competitive; to achieve this, we need the support of all Stakeholders in the maritime industry.
“NIMASA has fully keyed into the initiative of the ease of doing business and will continue to partner other relevant government bodies in the ports in order to fully realize the essence, which is geared towards making the nation’s ports competitive, adding that it will in turn bring about more employment opportunities and also generate more revenues to add to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product GDP”.
The NIMASA-boo therefore called for sanctions to erring port operatives, stating that it will serve as deterrent to others. He also argued that where there are no consequences for offences, people will continue to err; therefore the need to make people face the consequences for their actions or inactions is not negotiable.
Peterside noted that the agency has reviewed its Standards Operational Procedures SOP manual and made the operational departments sign a service level agreement whereby boarding any vessel and other transactions will be done in record time, with a view to reducing delay in turn-around-time of vessels and to enhance trade facilitation. This he explained is in order to ensure full compliance to the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business initiative.
Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello, who was represented by the Director, Legal Services of the NSC, Mr. Samuel Vongtau appealed for more collaborative efforts by all the various agencies in the ports in order to realize an economically viable maritime sector in Nigeria.
Recall that the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business initiative, issued last year, was designed to ensure faster processes and procedures in ports activities in the country, whereby vessels calling at the nation’s ports get good time value for their businesses, thereby allowing for an improved turn-around-time in all forms of port transactions. To achieve this, all agencies in the ports are expected to collaborate and ensure seamless transactions in line with global best practices.