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The combined authorities of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday in Apapa sealed a new pact to drive the Executive Order issued by the Acting President on ease of doing business as it concerns the Nigerian ports.
Part of the deal was to drive the co-operation and collaboration of all relevant approved Agencies and Stakeholders within the Port environment in order to actualize 24-hour operations at the nation’s Seaports.
In a statement jointly issued by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman who was accompanied by the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) during a Stakeholders meeting held at the Conference Room of the Western Ports, Apapa, Lagos, the duo pointed out that the Executive Order approved by the Government must be domesticated at the ports.
According the managing director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, the target of the joint action by the federal agencies is aimed at improving efficient Port operations which would be critically enforced to the latter through the harmonization of operational ideas and views by all relevant Agencies.
The Executive Order according to her, would ensure that unauthorized personnel in the Ports are refused access thereby reducing human traffic. Stringent measure would be put in place also at to reduce corrupt practices that could hamper greater efficient operation across the Ports. It would also prioritize the exportation of Agricultural produce and Mineral Resources at the Ports by way of location creating special dedication for this purpose. This Order is to be actualize within 30 days of its issuance.
The NPA helmsperson assured all Stakeholders present at the meeting that the approved Agencies would ensure that it works round the clock towards the swift implementation of this order. Said she, “we intend to discuss on ways of harmonizing our operational bases and challenges to achieving the ease of doing business within our ports”, whilst calling on all and sundry to collaborate most efficiently as the Gateway to the nation economy needs to be appropriately serviced.
She postulated that touting henceforth is not permitted just as giving and taking bribe at outlawed. The Executive Order she stated also provide for disciplinary actions on defaulters who would be made to face the full weight of the law concerning this Orders.
The Agencies streamlined to operate at the Ports according to Hadiza Bala Usman, are NPA, NCS, NIMASA, DSS, Police, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Ports Health.
Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.), in his remarks reiterated the importance of the Executive Order as a strategy towards the change process put in place by the Government towards the improved operational efficiency in our Ports.
He stated that, “the Order would allow for the reduction in the time of transaction by our customers through the elimination of bureaucracy and various bottle necks prevalent presently in our Ports”. Furthermore, the Comptroller opined that the Executive Order would also ensure that Port users are protected from unnecessary expenditure, adding that “we need to join hands together to achieving this mandate, we should ensure that we do not lengthen the period of doing business at the Ports unnecessarily”.
On the entourage of the Managing Director of NPA were Executive Directors, Marine and Operations, Dr, Sokonte Huttin Davies, Engineering and Technical Services, Prof. Idris Abubarkar and other top Management of the Organization including Stakeholders.