NPPM cannot work without punitive measures – Stakeholder
A critical stakeholder in maritime industry has said that the newly introduced Nigerian Ports Project Manual (NPPM) required strict government policy to drive the initiative.
The initiative was launched late last year by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja to restore sanity in maritime operations.
In February 2021, Honorable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi assigned the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) as the lead agency to drive the manual.
Speaking on its workability, the National President of Africa Association of Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Otunba Frank Ogunojemite expressed fears over the project achieving its set objective because of lack of prosecution and punishment for offenders.
He advised that government should commit much efforts to bringing offenders to book if they fail to adhere to the content of the manual .
According to him, by so doing, the desired purpose for the initiative would be achieved.
“It is not enough for the Vice president to launch NPPM, more should be done because sometimes NPA will give a directive to the operators and they will not comply and Shippers’ Council gives directive and it is not complied with.
“Now then can the .annual work if the government is not strict in implementing its policies because it is the same people in the government agencies that are also in the new project manual.
“There must be consequences for actions and inactions .
“Then the question is who is watching those who are watching us?” He queried.
Ogunojemite argued that the state of the port roads has contributed immensely to the high cost of importing goods into the country.
He blamed government for its lackluster attitude towards implementation of policies in the industry.
His words, “I will say government picture may not make it succeed because last year, when IMF visited Nigeria, we have their reports and the factors underrated that do make our ports and efficient are not new. So government knows what to do.
“We all know that there is no way you can get your consignments out of the port within three days. Shippers Council will agree with me that the dwelling time is 21 days.
“So, if we all know this beside the impediments of infrastructure, single window and lack of equipment and we still continue with three days grace, I see it as conspiracy to repatriate our money out of the country.
“It is not now that the government should realize that the time should be extended because the time we were having problems, it is a plus for terminals and shipping companies because we were made to pay demurrages.
“Look at how many years we have been suffering from the gridlock and efforts to bring out consignments out. Definitely, the road has increased the cost of importation into the he country.”
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