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NPA seeks sanction for agencies violating Executive Order, 24-hour port operations

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has called for sanction against government agencies violating the provisions of the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business, signed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in 2017.

Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the NPA, who made this call in Lagos recently, said some Federal Government agencies operating at the nation’s seaports have failed to comply with the directive and Executive Order on 24-hour port operations including that of collaboration among such agencies.

The order was aimed at removing attendant delays in cargo clearance in order to promote timely delivery of cargo to consignees’ warehouses.

Usman, disclosed this during a recent interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, which was monitored by BusinessDay, said the Executive Order on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment, also banned touting by officials or unofficial persons at ports.

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Apart from the NPA, she said, other Federal Government agencies had refused to obey the Executive Order and no sanction has been handed down to them.

“If you recall there is an Executive Order that directed all agencies of government to conduct inspection of containers in one location. Certain agencies of government have not complied and one of the things we have said is that there is need for sanctioning for non-compliance to the Executive Order, and this cannot be done by the Nigerian Ports Authority,” she said.

According to her, if an agency of government violates an executive order, the Vice President and indeed the Presidency should sanction that agency for non-compliance but that has not happened.

Usman said she had reported the matter to the Presidential Council on Ease of Doing Business chaired by Vice President but no sanction had been given to the errant agencies. She further said that port operations would not run smoothly if it is only the NPA that is meeting its obligation.

“There have been several explanations and justifications for non-compliance by these agencies. We must be held accountable for not complying with a directive. For example, we have 24-hour port operation that has been directed. All agencies of government are required to deploy personnel to have 24-hour port operation. We deployed our personnel but others did not,” she added.

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