The Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday took a bold step to implement the Executive Order on port operations by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, to ease the time and cost of doing business in Nigeria.
The Managing Director, of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, urged stakeholders at the Lagos ports to collaborate in achieving the goals to make Nigerian ports more attractive to users.
Usman said that the timeline for implementation of the executive order was issued on May 18 by the acting president.
She highlighted the six Executive orders, saying “there shall be no touting, official or unofficial persons at any ports in Nigeria and staff should be properly identified by uniform and official cards.”
“Any officer caught soliciting or receiving bribes from port users shall be subjected to immediate removal and disciplinary and criminal proceedings, in line with extant laws and regulations.
“All agencies currently physically present in Nigerian ports shall within 60 days harmonise their operations into one single window joint task force at all times.
“The new single interface station at each port shall capture, track and record information on all goods arriving and departing Nigeria and remit captured information to the head of Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the head of National Bureau of Statistics on weekly basis.”
“Each port in Nigeria shall assign an existing export terminal to be dedicated to the exportation of agricultural produce, within 30 days of issuance of this order,’’ Usman said.
She said that “the order says that the Apapa port should resume 24-hour operations within 30-days of the issuance of the order’’.
According to her, each stakeholder has commenced the implementation of the Executive Order, adding that she gathered the stakeholders to rub minds and find solutions to the challenges affecting the proper implementation of the order.
She urged stakeholders to remove personal interests and consider national interest to make the ports the preferred destination of cargoes.
Also speaking, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Retired Col Hammed Ali, said the service had embarked on the Change process manifested in the executive order.
Ali said that stakeholders had been complying, adding that it was only when everyone abided that the executive order would achieve results.
“When the orders are fully implemented, we will succeed in the mandate and it will also reduce time of doing business at the ports.”
“It is critical for operators to comply because I do not see any reason why we continue with paper operations,’’ Ali said.
He commended the management of NPA for putting more efforts to ensure that the executive orders were fully implemented.