The federal government has called on both public and private operators in the maritime sector to collectively tackle the menace of corruption within the port community.
Permanent Secretary (PS), Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani made the call at stakeholders’ meeting at the instance of Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), executors of the contents of the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM)
Ajani maintained that stakeholders and relevant government agencies within the port corridors have critical roles to play in the eradication of the numerous challenges faced by operators.
The event themed ‘Operation Free The Ports and Terminals,’ had in attendance, truck owners, Labour union leaders, government agencies, freight forwarders, among others.
According to her, the success of the newly inaugurated team is hinged on the collaboration and commitment of all stakeholders.
The Permanent Secretary opined that the PSTT has already been making progress with regards to free access around the port access roads.
Her words: “It takes everyone to be onboard to achieve this and we need to have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). This is where NPPM comes in because it puts together the SOPs of the various agencies in one document.”
She noted that “Being here to flag-off this project is an honour and I want to start by commending the Port Standing Task Team on what has been achieved in the last one year. It took me 40 minutes from the airport to get to this location.
“My flight was supposed to take-off from Abuja at 8am, but at 1am we got a message that it has been rescheduled for 1pm. We had to get another flight that landed in Lagos by 10am. I left the airport by 10:05am and I was at Shippers’ Council building in Apapa by 10:40am.”
Continuing, Ajani noted “I can tell that we are moving forward because I come to Lagos often and recently I was heading to Apapa and asked to be taken by road to Marina. I asked the driver not to do one-way driving because I didn’t want to be embarrassed by Road Safety officials.
“They assured that they wouldn’t break the rules and it took us 20 minutes from Victoria Island to NIMASA’s headquarters in Apapa. This was also courtesy of the PSTT and I recounting this so that we know that we’re achieving something,” she said.
Noting that the problem of port access connectivity is as long as 14 years, she posited that stakeholders have to address it holistically with the aim to achieve ease of doing business at Nigerian seaports and the corridors.
Happy Diamond Age