By ZION Olalekan
The Port Consultative Council (PCC) has called for the establishment of a single window system known as ‘Port Community System’ at Nigerian port.
Chairman of PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin made this call on Monday while speaking at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in collaboration with the Maritime Industry Advocacy Initiative (MAIN).
Otunba Folarin noted that same system was already operational in Ghana, as well as other small countries within the region.
He lamented that Nigeria is the only country that is still engaging in clearance process that involves physical contact at the port.
While speaking on the need for collaboration among government agencies operating in the maritime sector, he said there was need for transportation ministry and the finance ministry to collaborate in order to move the port forward.
Folarin observed that presently, Nigeria customs service is domiciled under the finance ministry while the Nigerian Ports Authority as landlord of the port is domiciled with transport ministry.
He said this has caused all agencies in the sector to work at cross purposes.
Speaking, he said “There are conflicts of interest in the enabling laws of these agencies coupled with interference by the national assembly. Customs is being supervised by the federal ministry of finance but they are operating in a port that is being supervised by the federal ministry of transportation, this would definitely bring about problems. At the Nigerian Ports, Customs only collect revenue without any Social Responsibility.
“If there is no collaboration, there would be no cooperation and the execution of projects will be delayed perpetually to the detriment of Nigerians. Another consequence of lack of collaboration is lack of relevance on the part of some agencies and lack of improvement in performance. The port community lacks awareness on the mandate of each of the agencies in the sector; there is lack of commercial and technical competence in some of the agencies”.
Otunba Folarin stressed the need for stakeholders to approach the National Assembly to review the enabling laws of various agencies in the sector in order to correct the challenge of overlapping functions.
The event was graced by the Lagos Council Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Kazeem Akinreti, former General Manager of Lagos Traffic Radio, Layinka Adagun and former Deputy Director Public Relations of NIMASA, Mrs Ego Nwokocha.
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