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Experts claim corruption at Nigerian ports contracts  by 30% in last two years

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

Corruption in Nigeria’s seaports has dropped by 25-30% in the last two years, Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) have claimed.

Officials of the anti corruptions  agencies disclosed this on Wednesday at an engagement with freight forwarders on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on cargo clearance in the port.

The drop, according to the bodies, is part of efforts to engender transparency, integrity and efficiency in port operations.

MACN said that the interaction was aimed at supporting the SOP to get better government response to complaints regarding infractions and to demand greater compliance.

The Network also called on the stakeholders to establish standard for interaction of private participation with public officials on verifiable and comprehensive discourse.

Anti Corruption Advisor for CBI, Mr. Babatunde Oluajo noted that the Nigerian Shippers’Council has added value to port operations as economic regulator.

He added that corruption at the port has reduced by 25% in the last four years, pointing out that the engagement with freight agents was set up to further sensitise them on the SOP.

He observed that both the shipping aspects of the industry has recorded tremendous drop in corrupt practices.

Also speaking at the event, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello noted that the Port Service System Portal (PSSP) is an Interventions established to implement the port sector integrity plan initiative.

Bello, who was represented at the event by the Zonal Coordinator, South South, Mr. Ogor Izah,  recalled that prior to 2016, the port industry was bedevilled with corrupt practices which made Nigeria to rank low in the Corruption Perception
Index (CPI) of Transparency International.

According to him, the current administration had in 2016, launched the Port Support Service Portal (PSSP) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in order to improve on operations, service timelines, efficiency and accountability in the port sector.

The Council as the Port Economic Regulator, Bello said, was to establish an enabling environment for all stakeholders by instituting an efficient and effective economic regulatory system in the transport sector .

His words, “The SOP spelt quite clearly WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHEN are responsibilities discharged to the public, corporate  or statutory mandate while in recent time, the Vice President, Prof.
Yemi Osinbajo launched the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) to promote transparency to eliminate bottlenecks and illegalities “.

President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Increase Uche affirmed that the enlightenment programme was aimed at building capacity for freight forwarders, adding that stakeholders input was key to enhancing port efficiency.

Uche said that MACN was to rid the ports of corruption which necessitated the enlightenment for freight forwarders.

Also speaking, former National President of NAGAFF, Eugene Nweke, who spoke with newsmen shortly after his paper presentation, stressed that corruption often starts from the government and that it is not limited to the agencies of the maritime industry.

Nweke described appointment of non professional to head maritime agencies as part of corruption

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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