• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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NPA commits to fight corruption for quick cargo clearance at ports

NPA’s readiness to deliver on the ministerial performance bond in 2024

Mohammed Bello-Koko, the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has said that the authority is committed to the elimination of systemic corruption and other criminal practices at the nation’s seaports.

He also affirmed the Authority’s readiness to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as stipulated in the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM), a project it funded, to enhance service delivery at ports.

Bello-Koko gave the assurance when he received members of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) led by Soji Apampa, at the Authority’s head office in Lagos recently.

According to him, the NPA Management appreciates the efforts of MACN in creating a friendly environment for doing business in the nation’s maritime industry.

He also commended the group for promoting the gains of business integrity and raising awareness of the negative impact of corruption on the country’s image and global rating.

The NPA boss expressed delight that the anti-corruption reforms introduced by the Federal Government have significantly reduced corrupt and related criminal practices in the Nigerian port and shipping sector.

Read also: NPA flags-off Ikorodu export processing Terminal to ease documentation

“We are doing well in terms of the drop in the incidences of corruption to five from over 150 cases when this anti-corruption campaign started. Having addressed the bottleneck with sailing and berthing of vessels, attention should now be on the ease of cargo clearance at the port and boosting the global competitiveness of the country’s exports. Concerted action is needed to put an end to long delays in cargo examination, and make cargo clearance simpler, faster, and market-friendly,” he said.

Soji Apampa, leader of the MACN team, said that the Nigerian port ecosystem has witnessed a positive change in the last three years, as reported demands made by corrupt public officials on ship-masters and shipping agents in the process of vessel clearance has reduced from three to two digits.

“The introduction of the SOPs and NNPM has increased the level of transparency around processes to be complied with in Nigerian ports. The introduction of the Port Service Support Portal has also made complaints and grievance handling processes more transparent and effective,” he said.

Apampa appealed to the NPA Management to sustain the collaboration with MACN by increasing logistics and manpower deployment support.

He assured the group’s readiness to provide technical support and training to staff of the Authority, in view of MACN’s affiliation with the World Maritime University.