‘Transparency, integrity crucial to maritime sector growth’
Dakuku Peterside, NIMASA Boss
Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has said that transparency and integrity are crucial to robust maritime sector, in line with the ease of doing business initiative of the Federal Government.
Peterside, who made this call during the visit of a joint team from the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in Lagos, said: “We must be conscious of our international image because people who do business in our ports have alternatives. We must strive to make our ports user friendly and competitive; to achieve this, we need the support of all stakeholders in the maritime sector.”
He said NIMASA has fully keyed into the initiative of the ease of doing business and would continue to partner with other relevant government bodies in the ports in order to fully realise the essence, which is geared towards making the nation’s ports competitive, adding that it would in turn bring about more employment opportunities and also generate more revenues to add to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The NIMASA boss called for sanctions for erring port operatives, stating that it will serve as deterrent to others. He said:“Where there are no consequences for offences, people will continue to err; therefore the need to make people face the consequences for their actions or inactions is not negotiable”.
He noted that the agency had reviewed its Standards Operational Procedures’ (SOP) manual and made the operational departments sign a service level agreement whereby boarding any vessel and other transactions will be done in record time, with a view to reducing delay in turn-around-time of vessels and to enhance trade facilitation. This he explained is in order to ensure full compliance to the Federal Government’s ease of doing business agenda.
Acting Chairman of ICPC, Musa Usman Abubakar, stressed the need for all government agencies in the maritime sector to carry out joint inspection of vessels at the ports in order to fully actualize the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Federal Government. Abubakar noted that this move would aid the turn-around-time of vessels calling at our part and also bring about efficiency.
The ICPC boss, who was represented by the Director, Public Enlightenment and Spokesperson of the Commission, Mrs. Rashidat Okoduwa, stated that activities in the ports would no longer be business as usual for operators and others who are yet to comply with the ease of doing business initiative, hence the reason they are seeking partnership with NIMASA and other agencies to join in the resolve to ensure a business friendly and conducive maritime sector in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the NSC, Barrister Hassan Bello, who was represented by the Director, Legal Services of the NSC, Samuel Vongtau, appealed for more collaborative efforts by all the various agencies in the ports in order to realise an economically viable maritime sector in Nigeria.
The Federal Government’s ease of doing business initiative is geared towards ensuring faster processes and procedures in ports activities in the country, whereby vessels calling at the nation’s ports get good time value for their businesses, to allow for an improved turn-around-time in all forms of port transactions. To achieve this, all agencies in the ports are expected to collaborate and ensure seamless transactions in line with global best practices.