By Ajibola Abayomi,
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman have listed approved agencies for ports operation henceforth.
The development was in compliance with the executive order given by the President on ease of doing business at the port in order to facilitate 48 hours cargo clearance.
The Managing Director however named the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigeria Police; Department of State Security (DSS); Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and Port Health as the approved agencies to operate at the nation’s seaports.
Hadiza said, “I want to recognise seven approved agencies of government that operate at the port. In 2011, an approval was granted to streamline activities of government agencies at the port.
“For ease of referencing, the approved agencies are Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA); Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigeria Police Force; Department of State Security (DSS); Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and Port Health.
“The above mentioned agencies are the approved ones and anyone operating at the port outside this seven agencies are not required and they should know they have to vacate whatever location they are having within the port because the current order stipulates they must not operate within the port”she said.
She however stated that the agencies ejeted from the ports are to come in when there services are required.
“NDLEA are required to come in and provide function as at when required. The need to bring all agencies of government at the ports to demonstrate to stakeholders how the executive orders can be achieved.”
Also speaking in line with the directive, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) said the development was key to the operations of customs.
He said that the order when implemented would reduce clearing time and cost of doing business at the ports.
“I want to say we have embarked on a change process that we have never had this before and there is tendency to say it is one of those things .
“It’s going to stay because we believe all of us should be committed to this. The ease of doing business is to reduce time and processes and cost and bring here this afternoon is to underside the seriousness.
“I will enjoin all of you to join hands with all of us and to ensure that we implement this to the latter.
“This will help in reducing time, cost of doing business at the port and for importers this is critical to them it is critical to us because there is no need to spend more time doing what we should do in three five minutes there is no need to lengthen our paper process it doesn’t make any sense,” he added.
The executive order issued by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo on 18 May, 2017 stipulated thus: “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.’
“There shall be no touting whatsoever by official or unofficial persons at any port in Nigeria. On duty staff shall be properly identified by uniform and official cards while off duty staff shall stay away from the ports except with the express approval of the agency head. The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Security shall enforce this order.
“Any official caught soliciting or receiving bribes from port users shall be subjected to immediate removal from port and disciplinary as well as criminal proceedings in line with extant laws and regulations.’ This shall be applied with immediate effect, ”
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.’’
In addition, the Acting President, through the Executive Order, has directed each port in Nigeria “to assign an existing export terminal to be dedicated to the exportation of agriculture produce within 30 days of the issuance Order.’’