By Godwin ORITSE
STANDARD Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, have withdrawn all their operations at the nation’s seaports, following an order by the Federal Government for them to vacate the ports.
SON decided to vacate the ports after the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, issued a 14- day ultimatum to the affected agencies to leave the ports.
In a letter to the Managing Director of the NPA, SON’s Director General, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, said that the organization has ceased to operate at the port since the 23rd of October 2011.
In the letter with reference number SON/LO/002/VOL111/88, and dated October 20th 2011, Odumodu said that a circular has also been sent to its entire staff and other relevant authorities operating at the ports.
The letter read in parts: “Following the Federal Government directive on the above subject issued on the October 10th 2011 that some Agencies including Standard Organisation of Nigeria should vacate the ports within 14 days.
“Kindly find attached a circular to all staff of the SON operating in the nation’s ports to vacate in compliance with Government order.
“For avoidance of doubt, commencing from Sunday October 23rd 2011, the SON will cease to operate at the Ports until any other contrary directive”
It would be recalled that the order by government to the affected agencies created some controversies, as some of the agencies refused to leave the ports saying that they cannot vacate the ports based on newspaper reports.
Some stakeholders saw the development as a welcome idea, saying that it reduced the cost of cargo clearance at the ports.