Segun Oladipupo | The Implementation Committee of the recently launched Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) has issued March 1st as the deadline notice for all terminal operators to embrace Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) or risk sanctions.
The NPPM Implementation Committee was launched December 10, 2020 by the Federal Government with the mandate to ensure port efficiency across the country.
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council is nominated by the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi as the lead agency with support from others.
Other agencies that constitute the committee include; Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Department of State Security (DSS) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC).
In its maiden visit to Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL) on Tuesday, the Co-ordinator of the team, Mr. Moses Fadipe reiterated government’s decision to ensure that the concessionaires meet up with the automation in port operations.
Harping on reduction of fixed storage charges by the port concessionaires, Fadipe stressed the need for terminal operators to cooperate with the government in ensuring compliance to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), adding that the team had come up with a timeline of March 1st 2021, for the new charges to reflect in debit notes in all the terminals.
He said, “Any terminal operator that do not comply with that directive will be sanctioned and government will beam searchlight on their operations.”
The Coordinator pointed out that letters would be circulated to all the port concessionaires in all Seaports by the end of the week on the need to comply to the ten free days storages charges.
He charged the concessionaires to rev on areas of operations where manual application is employed, saying all areas must be automated before the due date.
Fadipe affirmed that the Federal Government would sanction erring port concessionaires who failed to comply with the directive.
Fadipe, a director with the council, added that the NPPM is not new in port operations but a trajectory steps of SOP in checkmating the performances of port concession .
“Government in her wisdom decided to breakdown the SOP effectively in its simple manner for everybody to know the importance of port operations.
He lamented that the downward trend of nation’s performance index was worrisome hence the need for the government to introduce NPPM documents, saying that the Implementation team was set up to enforce the SOP of 2016.
Fadipe stressed the need for terminal operators to study the documents, even as he called on the port concessionaires to report areas of challenges to the implementation committee in furtherance to proffer solutions to those bottlenecks confronting their operations.
He called on the terminal operators to work in synergy with the implementation team as part of efforts to tackle issues confronting port operations.
He appealled for feedback mechanism from the service providers in actualizing the SOP policy of the federal government.
Also speaking, Mrs. Victoria Tarfi assured the terminal operators of a robust working relationship with the NPPM Implementation team even as she said she had no doubt about the commitment of service providers.
According to her, constant monitoring would help the committee to keep tab on the operators for compliance.
Asked if Nigerian factor sets in where the operators would want to use their connections to frustrate the efforts of the team, she stated that the exercise could not be frustrated because it is beyond any individual.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Operations, GDNL, Alhaji Yakubu Abdullahi assured the NPPM Implementation team of the service providers total support, adding that the concessionaires would key in support to government policies in port operations adding that the meeting with new team was critical to port operations.
Abdullahi added that if the SOP is well implemented, seaports operations would be effective and management of GDNL will support the government to make progress.
“We are very prepared to assist the government to achieve success in the implementation of the SOP and we ensure that stakeholders key in.
“We are putting in place all that is required by the government.
He promised that the terminal operator will do its best to meet all the requirements by the government ,assuring the Dangote-owned terminal will work round the clock to measure up with the timeline introduced by the NPPM.
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