..threatens to arrest defaulters, ship agents –
The Implementation committee of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM) has directed shipping companies to inform Captains of their vessels to desist from offering souvenirs to officials of government agencies on assignment on board vessels at berth.The directive follows incessant complaints that ships that berth in Nigeria must part with gifts to officials who board their vessels for routine inspection.
Mr. Moses Fadipe, Coordinator, NPPM who visited some shipping companies in Lagos on Wednesday, told shipping agencies to inform vessel captains to stop such act henceforth because of the bad image of illegality that has earned Nigeria.
The Coordinator and his entourage visited NAL Comet shipping, MSC shipping, Port Health and ENL Consortium on Wednesday as part of the campaign to adopt the contents of the new Manual.
He added that there must not be any financial transactions between the officials and the captains of vessels that berth in Nigeria.
He threatened that the agents of ships where such anomaly is reported would be arrested
His words, “They call it souvenir, a vessel is regarded as a country on its own and anyone that goes on board, the captain sees them as visitors and he is the host, he will now feel like he should entertain them even if it is ordinary water or mineral.
“He will now offer you the drink and it is always written on the drinks that it should be consumed on board only.
“Our people, apart from the ones they offered them, they will still carry cartons. That is what I mean by gifts.
“I will not say it is peculiar to Nigeria but it is rampant in Nigeria. Whenever you are coming to Nigeria, you must have put it in place that this is what I will give to so and so officials that is why we are saying the ship agents are culpable because they are the intermediary between the officials and the captains.
“I told you that we are going to have 24 hours surveillance. Now, tell me, can you hide a carton of drink in your suit?
The following are the agencies that board vessels during berth at the terminal: Port Health Services (PHS), Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and others as the situation demands.
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