There are plans by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACA) to have an office at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in order to tackle sharp practices in the port industry.
Managing Director of the authority, Ms Hadiza Usman, stressed the need for government to look at corruption in the ports and how to block all leakages.
It was learnt that the committee was being invited to implement the report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on t h e c o r r u p t i o n i n d e x i n p o r t administration, which has been gathering dusts for some years.
Usman, who is anxious to block revenue leakages at the port, said it had become imperative to make the industry more competitive in the area of appropriate pricing.
Addressing the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in Lagos when she visited the leadership of the association in their secretariat, Usman explained that NPA would embark strongly on anti-corruption measures in 2017.
The authority’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Chief Michael Ajayi, quoted the managing director as saying that NPA would recommend to the Federal Government to reduce port charges, if it was discovered that Nigerian ports were more expensive.
The managing director noted that the move would enable more cargoes come into Nigerian ports. Usman noted that NPA had embarked on a study of respective tariffs across ports in West and Central Africa in order to compare them with Nigerian ports tariffs.
She said that the right facilities had been put in place at ports to absorb the anticipated cargo surge, adding that all terminal operators were ready to take up the challenge. Usman said that NPA would interact more with stakeholders in 2017 by introducing quarterly stakeholders’ meetings to address the challenges of operators.
The National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, urged her to address corruption, bad roads, and high port charges, saying the problems had m a d e N i g e r i a n p o r t s l e s s competitiveness when compared to neighbouring West African ports.