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CBI charges committee to build collective voice for improved transparency in port operations 

Lagos, Nigeria: entrance to the RoRo port - Nigerian Ports Authority - photo by A.Bartel

Segun Oladipupo

The Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) implementers of Business Action Against Corruption (BAAC), Nigeria project has called on the Integrity Alliance Steering Committee to strategically place the Integrity Alliance at the forefront of supporting reforms.

The group also canvassed the committee to build the collective  voice and action required to  improve transparency, accountability and operational  efficiency at Nigerian Ports as well as prioritising cost-efficiency.

Emmanuel Bosah, Programme Director, CBI stated this on Tuesday during the inauguration of the committee in Lagos.

The aim of the BAAC project is to use collective action to improve corporate governance and reduce corruption in the Nigerian business environment.

He stated that “Based on this understanding therefore, the task ahead and the purpose for the Integrity Alliance is quite straight forward.

“We need to strategically place the Integrity Alliance being formed today at the forefront of supporting reforms and building  the   collective   voice   and  action  required   to   improve  transparency, accountability  and  operational   efficiency   at  our  Ports,  prioritising especially cost-efficiency.

Speaking further he said, “The programme also supports practical initiatives, which promote good governance and improve the investment climate.

” We achieve this through working with industry at strengthening self-regulation of business, its compliance with government regulation, stakeholder activism and a public vigilance over the arrangement.

“We also build on existing relationships with the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to build a partnership to strengthen corporate leadership practices by raising standards of board leadership of directors of listed companies in Nigeria to review their fiduciary responsibilities, and meet stakeholder expectations.

“The aim is to define a set of business principles, reporting guidelines and system of compliance incentives jointly with directors of listed companies in Nigeria.

“Today, we mark another important milestone in our efforts to promote and support positive transformation at Nigeria’s ports.

“Over the years, as you all know too well, users and operators at Nigeria’s ports have faced varying degrees of lingering challenges and administrative bottlenecks, many of which have truly hampered the ease of doing business.

“From Infrastructure challenges, regulatory inconsistencies, and the duplications of roles and overlapping functions by a myriad of government agencies. These are all making work at Nigeria’s ports difficult and expensive.

“The Integrity Alliance is designed as an instrument for bringing together like-minded individuals in the Private sector to achieve this mission.

“It will not be easy  because   the  Alliance   members  will   be  responsible   for  ensuring  that members not only sign up to the Alliance’s Code of Conduct, but comply as strictly as possible with that Code of Conduct.

“The benefits of this Alliance are however abounding.

*Specifically and significantly,   it   creates   the  opportunity   for   increased  engagement   and relationship  strengthening   with   relevant  ports   and   regulatory   authorities  to address challenges and simultaneously deliver the mandate of the Alliance.

“The plan for this Alliance is that over time, your collective efforts and successes will   enable   port  users   to   demand,   track,   and  ensure   greater   compliance  in Nigerian ports, help strengthen  government capacity  to establish compliance systems, and strengthen collaboration between business, government and civil society.

“At CBi and MACN, we firmly subscribe to the thinking that the coming together of key stakeholders like yourselves to drive and reposition the approach to efficiency at the ports is a game changer that will set the standard and template for other sectors to benchmark,” he submitted.

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