MACN, CBI mobilise govt’s agencies, private operators on ease of doing business in Eastern ports

The Maritime Anti Corruption Network (MACN), in conjunction with the Convention for Business Integrity (CBI) has taken the ease of doing busines,s campaign to the eastern ports of Onne, Port Harcourt, Sapele, Warri and Calabar.

The purpose of the campaign is to work with government and the private sector operators to identify how to improve efficiency and ease of doing business in eastern ports.

To this end, MACN and CBI, last week in Port Harcourt, held a workshop for industry stakeholders on “promoting compliance to the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on vessels through clearance”.

Speaking to journalists on the essence of the  programme, Director of Programmes for CBI, Emmanuel Bosah, said it was to work with government and the private sector to improve efficiency and ease of doing business in eastern ports.

“We brought together private sector and government sector to discuss not just the challenges, which are well known but to identify solutions that essentially grow from what we have seen in Lagos, with the Port Standard Task Team (PSTT) leading that assault.

“The previous engagement we had in Port Harcourt was to build the capacity of compliance officers to understand how to deliver their roles, how to comply with standard operating procedures (SOP)s, how to ensure, most importantly, that everything they do is transparent, consistent and in line with the rules and regulations of the authorities and also, in case where the private sector fails to meet its obligations in terms of compliance they do hold them accountable for that.

“Now, the purpose of this meeting is how best do we work collectively as part of the compliance, response from the private and government sectors to make sure that we understand what the compliance requirements are, that is; what are those SOPs.

“But in so doing, how best beyond that do we now work with government to ensure the gap are understood, the challenges are addressed and everybody is equally responsible together to improve the ease of doing business in the ports in the east.”

National Coordinator, Presidential Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), Moses Fadipe,  explained that the reform programme has a 10-year duration and had to start in Lagos.

“You know, it is work in progress”, he stated, adding “as we continue, it was the huge outcry from stakeholders in this axis to say, look the beautiful work you are doing in Lagos is not being replicated here in eastern ports. And that was why the task team was equally put in place on September 28, 2022 in the eastern ports.”

He emphasised the need for cooperation and collaboration of all relevant stakeholders to be able to jointly address the challenges militating against the ease of doing business at the eastern ports.

The Director, South-South zone of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Glory Onojedo stated; “It is imperative that the ease of doing business should work in Port Harcourt ports, in fact in all the eastern ports and that is why we really welcome this programme that is being organised today”.

He said the Shippers Council welcomed the programme which came following the ease of doing business, Executive Order 1, now the Ease of Doing Business Act.

He also underscored the importance of collaboration of all stakeholders, saying, “security agencies should cooperate with the task team to ensure that when containers or goods are being removed from the ports or going out there are no further costs that are imposed on those containers or cargos.

“So, the job of ensuring the ease of doing business is a joint thing, Nigerian Shippers Council alone cannot do it. We are calling on all agencies and stakeholders to join hands”.




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