Only Automation Can Stop Corruption at Seaport – Shippers’ Council 

Only Automation Can Stop Corruption at Seaport – Shippers’ Council 

Abiola Seun      |    

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has said that it is working tirelessly to ensure that the port systems are automated to curb corruption.

This was disclosed yesterday after a sensitization rally between the council and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in celebrating international anti-corruption day tagged- “Zero Tolerance for Corruption in the Maritime and Transport Sector,” held in Lagos.

Speaking at the sensitization rally, the Director, Special Duties, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Samuel Vongtau, said the council is working tirelessly to ensure automation of the port system.

According to him, the Shippers council has been fighting corruption at the seaports with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

He said, “Today is significant because it was a day set aside to campaign against corruption and every organization that has an interest in fighting corruption must come out as we have done. Shippers’ council has been fighting corruption in the port sector because even last year’s international anti-corruption day we organized a march to the port and we have been working very hard to ensure that processes at the ports are automated and when they are automated corruption will be reduced to the barest minimum”.

According to him, human contact breeds corruption hence the need to automate the system.

“Corruption thrives when there is a face-to-face interaction between the service provider and the consumers but when processes are automated there will be no interface between humans and then corruption will be reduced.

He stated further, “Nigerian shippers council is one of the agencies at the forefront of the development of a standard operating procedure for all the port agencies and that is one of the ways we are eliminating corruption to ensure that those who come to the ports know the processes.

“They know what they are expecting from the service provider and this makes it difficult for people to seek bribe because when you know what is expected from the service you will not seek bribe and the service has timeline and anyone who does not work with it can be reported to the shippers’ council that service rendered was done in an unsatisfactory manner.”

The Director Internal Audit for Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Victor Nwazurike, also disclosed that the agency has zero-tolerance for corruption.

In the agency, we have an anti-corruption and transparency unit which is very active to make a report of any act of corruption.

” The Servicom unit is also there they make sure things are properly done and done timely, and if things are done timely corruption will be reduced to the barest minimum, so we are in support and have been partnering with EFCC in all things they have been doing and we have gladly joined them even in this sensitization rally”.

Speaking earlier, the Zonal Head, EFCC, Muhammed Rabo said the agency is prepared to fight corruption in the country.

He, however, said that the fight against corruption calls for a concerted effort from everyone including all agencies in the maritime sector.

He said, “you will all agree with me that impunity in the conduct of public affairs is the reason the country is yet to fully realize its potentials as the effect of corruption circulates every sector and therefore the urge for solution calls for concerted effort and that is why in EFCC, we don’t pretend that we have the monopoly of how to fight corruption and win it alone.

” We can’t do it alone and we are convinced that corruption can only be tackled when there is a meeting of minds and concerted effort by all to fight the malaise and with the assemblage of stakeholders here today, we will not relent in our effort to fight corruption.

“I will further call on you to support the fight and let us imbibe the character of prevention is better cure through attitudinal change, churned alluring temptation of acquiring illicit wealth and embrace values that can promote a culture of accountability and transparency at all levels,” he said.

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