15 January 2017, Lagos — IN a bid to checkmate unapproved and arbitrary charges at the nation’s seaports, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has commissioned a study on port charges on cargoes across the West African sub-region.
Disclosing this in Lagos, Managing Director of the authority, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman said that the authority has embarked on a study of respective tariffs across ports in West and Central Africa as a whole and to compare with what obtains in Nigeria.
Usman also disclosed that should it be discovered that Nigerian ports are more expensive, the agency shall recommend to the Federal Government to reduce port charges to enable more cargoes come into Nigerian ports.
Usman who also a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption said that the Committee has concluded plans to have an office in the port with view to blocking revenue leakages in the ports.
She said, “I am sure that not all of you are aware that I am a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption. The committee, in 2017 is coming to domicile an office in the Nigerian Ports Authority on implementing a report that was submitted by the ICPC on the corruption index in ports administration, we shall embark strongly on anti-corruption measures in 2017”.
She opined that the cheaper the rates the more cargoes will be attracted to the nation’s ports.
“Our operators are very much ready to take on additional cargoes that would come following the restriction of imported vehicles through the land borders.
“The Nigerian ports are ready to take on the expected increased traffic. We believe the ban is a step in the right direction because we feel there is a need for us to enhance and sustain importation and earn more revenue”, she said.
Besides the commissioned study, the NPA has also commence moves to regularly interact more with stakeholders in 2017 so as to be more in tune with happenings at the various ports.
She said “ PA will introduce quarterly stakeholders meetings to know what is on ground at the ports and be better informed on the plight of operators.
Usman who visited the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders said the essence of her visit was to interact directly with critical stakeholders to discuss issues burning on their minds and to seek collaborative efforts in solving some of the challenges.
She said, “I am sure that not all of you are aware that I am a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption. The committee, in 2017 is coming to domicile an office in the Nigerian Ports Authority on implementing a report that was submitted by the ICPC on the corruption index in the ports administration, we shall embark strongly on anti-corruption measures in 2017”.
Similarly, National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu charged the NPA boss to address some of the problems at the port which he itemised to include: corruption, bad roads, and high port charges at the port leading to un-competitiveness of Nigerian ports, compared to neighbouring West African ports.
“We want to appeal to you to use your God-given approach to battle corruption at the ports”, he said