•Says corruption is fighting back

By Godwin Oritse

At the backdrop of renewed fight against inefficiency and corruption at the Nigeria’s ports industry, the Port Standing Task Team, PSTT, of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, has reported a significant reduction in vessel turnaround time and cost reduction ports services.

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, said that the PSTT intervention saved the industry about N6.5 billion in demurrage while vessel turnaround time is now four hours, down from 10 days.

But he also said the efforts have been met with strong resistance as corruption is currently fighting back with physical attacks and threats to the life of the PSTT members.

Jime said that the areas of port supervision that have been strongly resisted by some stakeholders in the industry include, Joint Vessel Boarding, Joint Cargo Examination and Operation free the port access roads.

He stated: “On joint vessel boarding by mandated government agencies, the activities of the team saved the Nigerian economy an average vessel demurrage of $20, 000, about N6.5 billion per day between year 2020 and 2021.

“However, due to a number of challenges, Nigeria has been unable to fully harness the potentials of the sector. Consequently, it is appropriate to note that Nigeria needs an effective maritime transportation in order to enjoy accruable revenue and benefits of this sector.”

Speaking further, the Council boss called on the media to assist the agency in waging the war against corruption by highlighting any corrupt or sharp practices.

He said: “The Shippers Council through the Task Team is engaged in a fight in my humble estimation, has never ever been fought by any that no other agency of government, the challenge is more than what anybody can imagine.

“We are fighting a system that has been here for as long as you can think, so please help us, you need to shine your focus on what is going on.”

He also disclosed that the Task Team has concluded plans to move to the Mile-2 axis of the port corridor, adding that it is the hope of the Council that every stakeholder will join in the fight to free the port access roads from illegal toll collection and extortion of drivers.


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