By Victoria Hanson
In a bid to foster ports and maritime efficiency, stakeholders from maritime industry have called for collaboration and synergy with the private sector.The stakeholders made the call during the public private Dialogue On Port Efficiency and Maritime Sector Roadmap organized by the Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) held in Lagos .
The Executive Secretary Nigerian Shippers Council Mr. Hassan Bello said that transportation sector drives the economy of the country, therefore there is a need for every individual to play their obligations and duties as it is not only the duty of the government.
Inorder to achieve the much needed efficiency and productivity within the Nigerian Ports, Bello outlined automation of the ports ,establishment of effective tracking system for goods monitoring, establishment and implementation of a single window platform and establishment of Six (6) trucking companies for easiest transportation of goods from the ports as measures for efficiency.
He advised all the freight forwarders to establish good infrastructures such as warehouses, consolidation, standard offices and good professionals rather than operating on small rooms thereby infiltrating the profession with quacks.
The Executive Secretary who noted that the council has strived at all course in playing their roles disclosed that Advance Cargo Declaration would soon be established by the council.
Engr. Obayi, Director Inspector and Compliance Directorate Standard Organization Of Nigeria (SON) said that the organization was established to check mate substandard products.
According to him, ” single window operation must be monitored and comply with, Nigeria started operating single window since September 10th 2015 yet untested products are still coming into Nigeria. No proper procedure of inspection has been done since 2011 till date, Nigeria must ensure that things are done in its rightful position “.
While commending the LCCI for seeking for solutions to enhance port efficiency, he therefore maintained that SON is playing it’s role in monitoring the kinds of products shipping into the ports.
The Director National Agency For Food And Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) Mrs Yetunde Oni said that The Agency has taken measures to ensure that products in the country are registered to curb fake products. She called for transparency and sincerity among business stakeholders.
Oni who was represented said ” we are only invited to the ports when there is regulated products due to the law in Nigeria which stated that no regulation should come into Nigeria. Recently, eighteen containers Of fake drugs running into Port Harcourt as clothing materials, if NAFDAC were not invited, those drugs would have taken in.
In order to curb the menace Of fake items, customs must identify the regulated authority at the ports, there must be pos ports clearance as it is done in other countries .there must be physical examination and traders as well as business people must employ sincerity in the area of manifest presentation “she said
Also expressing his views, the National Deputy President Of The National Association Of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Chief Increase Uche said that the issue Of Port reform is a major problem to the association which he said had hindered development.
He decried the attitudes of non collaboration by other Maritime agencies which inturn had brought in corruption to the ports .
Uche who commended the Nigeria Shippers Council for their efforts on the ports, therefore called for report reform.
Earlier, The President Of Lagos Chamber Of Commerce Dr (Mrs) Nike Akande said that the forum was necessary as it provided opportunity to discuss and also share perspective on how to move the Nigerian Maritime Sector forward.
Akande who was the chief host assured the people better solutions under government initiatives. Other staholders also seek for solutions.