November 19, 2019 / 5.00 PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
The Convention on Business Integrity, CBi, called on operators and stakeholders at the Eastern ports and terminal axis, to engage the Port Service Support Portal, PSSP, domiciled in the Nigeria Shippers Council but designed to drive efficiency and accountability in the sector.
CEO of CBi Nigeria Mr. Soji Apampa made this point at the end of the Port Harcourt edition of the Maritime roundtable.
The forum which is organized by CBi in collaboration with the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network, MACN through the Business Action Against Corruption, BAAC discussed "Service Delivery at the Nigerian South-South and southeast axis of ports and terminals."
Apampa believed that continuous engagement of the portal by the operators would provide the avenue for evaluating the performance of the Port Service Support Portal, PSSP, which is part of the ongoing reforms by the Nigerian government in the maritime sector.
He also noted that the CBI working with other key stakeholders would explore more robust engagements with government agencies at the ports, to review the standards operating procedures that reflect the understanding of the current challenges in the maritime sector.
Apampa said the communique and document from the roundtable would constitute part of the recommendations to the Port Service Committee, PSC, the central organ coordinating the maritime sectors on how to improve service delivery at the Eastern ports in the country.
The Head of Collective Action for the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network, MACN Mr. Vivek Menon in his remarks informed stakeholders with membership from 145 countries, MACN has been at the forefront of raising the integrity level in the global maritime industry.
Mr. Menon was happy to state that the MACN played a vital role in improving the standard operating procedures at the Nigerian ports and terminals, which led to the establishment of the Port Service Support Portal, PSSP.
He was optimistic that the Port Harcourt roundtable would deepen the conversation on how to achieve a safer, transparent and efficient maritime sector in Nigeria.
In a brief presentation at the event, Mr. Babatunde Oluwajo of the CBi revealed that 85% of the 100 people captured in a recent port user survey, were not aware of the grievance resolution mechanism that was provided for by the PSSP.
At the panel session that discussed the efficiency of the PSSP as it concerns the ports and terminals, Mr. Demola Bakare a Deputy Commissioner with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, highlighted the shortfall in service delivery and the challenge of ethics as key areas of concern to the ICPC.
Mr. Bakare assured stakeholders that the ICPC will maintain zero tolerance for corrupt practices, and will not allow the stigma that has stayed with the Nigerian ports to continue.
The coordinator of the PSSP Mr. Moses Fadipe, in his intervention, said the portal had received 400 reports, of which less than 10% has come from the Eastern ports, urging the users and operators to embrace the platform and engage it actively.
Fadipe noted that 86% of the 400 cases have been resolved by the PSSP and decried the level of infractions carried out by some of the shipping agents and port related government agencies.
According to him, covert operations have been carried out by the PSSP team, and the erring government agencies who are culpable in the infractions will be sanctioned in due course.
On her part Mrs. Bosede Oguntuberu of the Technical Unit of Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms, TUGAR said some of the key benefits of the reform process in the maritime sector, include;
From the Private sector Chief Ernest Elochukwu of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Ofon Udofia of the Bayelsa/Rivers State Shippers Group called on the regulators in the ports and terminal space to simplify the process of complaint resolutions.
They decried the fact that the cost of doing business at the Eastern ports axis was high and believed with the aid of the PSSP, the service delivery can be prompt and seamless.