PHCCIMA, OTHER STAKEHOLDERS CALL FOR INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP TO CREATE ENABLING ENVIRONMENT AT THE PORTS AND TERMINALS

President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Chief Nabil Saleh, Chairman of the Transport, Air Sea and Land, Clearing and Forwarding Trade Group, Chief Ernest Elochukwu, Vice Chairman of the Export Trade group, Mr Ofon Udofia and other critical stakeholders of the Maritime industry have urged the government to address issues of standard operating procedure in our ports to make corruption difficult, stressing the need for Nigerian government to as a matter of priority innovatively partner with stakeholders to create enabling environment at the ports where business can thrive. In other words, they believe that the ports and terminals are too strategic to be left to opportunistic individuals and groups that frustrate the system. This was the consensus at a “Roundtable Session on Service Delivery at the Nigerian Ports” with the Theme: ‘Towards Standard Operating Procedures That Work In Nigeria’s Sea Ports And Terminals’, held at Novotel Port Harcourt on Tuesday, November 19th, 2019. The event organized by the Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) in collaboration with the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) was to draw attention to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) in Nigeria with a view to launch a series of interventions aimed at promoting transparency and consistent application of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), that will lead to more predictable (in time and cost) vessel and cargo clearance at the Ports and Terminals to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our ports and terminals. The MACN Committee in collaboration with relevant government agencies have continued to make effort to see to the improvement of the use of PSSP grievance mechanism and follow up of reports filled; execute a communications campaign about the new Standard Operating Procedures and develop a toolkit for the private and public sectors on how to integrate the new SOPs in their daily operations. The programme which had in attendance relevant maritime stakeholders revealed MACN’d quest to establishing a National Ports Integrity Rating Index with ports and terminals in Nigeria, as a way of improving the transparency of SOPs consistency in their application and predictability of costs and timelines associated with cargo and vessel clearance in Nigeria.