Shippers’ Council inaugurates NPPM task team, charges joint boarding agencies on time management Tayo OLADIPUPO The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Thursday inaugurated the standing task team that will implement the recently commissioned Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM). The content of the manual is to engender a new order devoid of corruption and substandard practice in the nation’s maritime industry. The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of NCS, Barrister Hassan Bello in a meeting with agencies on joint boarding of vessels in Lagos, called on the agencies to employ joint boarding of vessels at berth to save time. He added that the agencies should not spend more than thirty minutes on board the vessels even as he quipped that the incident of asking for gifts should be eschewed. He however maintained that technique is the bedrock of the success of the manual. Bello lamented that Nigeria is ranked 149 out of 180 countries in the global corruption index perception. Bello said, “Doing things in the practice accepted internationally is good for Nigeria. The procedures must be transparent, this is war against corruption at the port. “If we get it right, it will breed efficiency. Today, you see the array of those who are to board vessels and there is a resolve that we are going to do it right. “Time is of the essence in boarding the vessels and so, there are time-consuming issues that we must adhere with. “Compliance is very important that is why we have the complement if security agencies like ICPC and the DSS. “The most important thing is that we must adopt technology to solve most of these problems, human contacts breeds corruption . So, it is very important we digitalize out ports. Also speaking the the meeting, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman said that the country desired to be the leading port in the continent, hence the need to do the right thing. Usman who was represented at the event by Eniola Williams, General Manager, Public Private Partnership (PPP) of the Authority added that SOP would guide each agency on its limit and served as guide for its operations. Her words, “We know that for every transaction, integrity is key and the essence of having Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in any organization is actually to eliminate discretion. “If discretion is eliminated, you are already on the pathway to integrity. The main purpose of having this manual is to entrench integrity”.