In a bid to curb corruption in the maritime sector and create a conduscive busines environment for individuals and corporate bodies in all parts of the country, the Federal Ministry of Transport has inaugurated a Standard Operating Systems for the country’s sea ports.
Speaking during the inauguration, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said “the development of a non-oil economy for Nigeria is a key component of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration”.
“Government has therefore decided to focus well on how to make doing business easier for individuals and corporate bodies in all parts of the country”.
He said the main focus will be on the ease of doing business, so as to boost the economy in the wake of the fall in the price of oil, hitherto, the main source of income government.
“Better port procedures have direct impact on the business environment and for Nigerians in foreign businesses. It is going to enhance our economic development and it will be easier for industries here to import components needed for production as well as export their goods to other countries,” he said.
Professor Osinbajo said the Standard Operating Systems will streamline operations at the ports, as he urged all sectors to grab the opportunities provided by both the procedures and portal, as he said the private sector has an important role to play in national development.
“The project is derived from the prediction that an easier business environment leads to increased activities of small and medium enterprises thus increasing prosperity and industrial capacity. This is however just the first step, everyone public and private stakeholders must invest their commitment to the successful implementation of the SOPs and PSSP by following all the procedures,” he stated.
Professor Osinbajo said corruption can be well tackled via technology as witnessed recently in Nigeria.
“If you look at all the efforts of government in introducing technology to public service delivery, you will discover that we have made tremendous success both he IPPIS and TSA have averted corruption in the public service, leading to a lot of successes in that regard,” he said.
The Ambassador of Denmark to Nigeria, Mr Torben Gettermann commended the Nigerian government’s dogged fight against corruption.
He said his country will give Nigeria the needed support in the fight, in order to eliminate embezzlement and misuse of public funds.
Earlier, while welcoming guests, Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi said the new system and the portal will help in addressing complaints and corruption within the maritime industry.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, promised that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and the Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) will enhance efficiency in the maritime sector.
The Nimasa boss stated that the new initiatives will further promote excellence and service delivery that will make the nation’s ports a place of reference.
He further expressed the readiness of the Agency to key into the reform process of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, which according to him, is in line with the Digital Transformation Strategy of NIMASA.
Dr. Peterside used the opportunity to call on sister agencies in the industry and other relevant stakeholders to collaborate in the mission of bringing the desired changes to the sector and Nigeria as a whole.
Various agencies of government like the Nigeria Customs Service, The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Immigration Service and the Nigeria Shippers Council all expressed their commitment to the new procedures are utilised and enforced.