By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has pledged the readiness of the ministry to support the Nigerian Shipper’s Council (NSC) in ensuring compliance, implementation, and enforcement of the Nigerian Port Process Manual, NPPM, to checkmate corruption in the maritime sector.
Amaechi made the pledge at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by Nigerian Shipper’s Council in Abuja on Tuesday.
Vanguard recalls that the federal government upon recommendation of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, had in December 2020, appointed the Nigerian Shipper’s Council as the lead agency in the implementation of NPPM.
A statement signed by Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, Media Assistant to the Honourable Minister quoted Amaechi as saying that the process manual on port operations is expected to be one of the key indicators for the effective implementation of Executive Order 1 issued in 2017, aimed at promoting transparency and efficiency in the business environment.
Amaechi said that the successful implementation of the NPPM, would complement the modernisation of critical transport infrastructure being driven by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through rail and port.
“The Ministry shall lend its support to the NSC in ensuring compliance with the Manual by all stakeholders, not only in the implementation of the Manual but in other areas such as enforcement. ”
“The maritime sector offers the best alternative for economic diversification as It has the potential for employment, investments, and as an outlet for the facilitation and strengthening of Nigeria’s international trade.
“Nigeria’s Shippers Council is to drive the process and implementation of the process manual. However, I urge regulatory authorities, operational agencies, service providers, users of shipping services, and other stakeholders to support and comply with the government’s extant directives and the provisions of the NPPM.
“The NSC being the lead agency for the implementation of the manual, shall coordinate the implementation of the manual and ensure strict compliance with the rules. NSC also reserves the right to handout sanctions to any agency, service providers, and users of shipping services for noncompliance as provided under its economic regulatory mandate,” he said.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello said the sensitization meeting was to secure the support and collaboration of regulatory agencies, service providers, and users of port services.
“The NSC does not see the appointment as conferring any superiority over other regulatory agencies or stakeholders but consider it as an act of service towards achieving government desire of eradicating corruption at the port in order to promote ease of doing business in the transportation industry in Nigeria,” he stated.