As part of efforts to implement the Executive Order on the ease of doing business at the seaports signed recently by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has said that only seven agencies are authorised to operate in the port. NPA said the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) were no longer allowed to have representatives in the port or partake in the process of cargo clearance.
Managing Director of NPA Hadiza Bala Usman, who stated this at a meeting with the representatives of select Federal Government agencies and port stakeholders in Apapa, Lagos yesterday, said the federal government’s directive of 2011, which reduced the number of agencies at the port from 14 to seven remains valid.
She listed NPA, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Maritime Administration ad Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Immigration Service and Port Health Services as the agencies authorised by government to operate in the port.
She said, “I want to first recognise the seven approved agencies of government that operate in the port. In 2011, an approval was granted by the then President to streamline the agencies of the government just for ease of referencing,
“I will like to reiterate those agencies of government that are operating at the port. We have NPA as the landlord, Customs, NIMASA, DSS, Police, Nigerian Immigration Service and the Port Health.
“These are the seven agencies that are mandated and have approval to operate in the port. Any agency that is operating in the port outside of these seven agencies is not required to be in the port and should be aware that they need to vacate whatever location they are currently having within the port because the current approval and position provides that they are not to operate in the port.
“We have the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) which is required to come in and provide their function as at when is required. This is the current position on agencies of government that operate in the port,” she said.
Bala Usman said each of the agencies required to be at the port have issued directives to their staff in line with implementation of the executive order.
She said NPA will soon establish a port community system, which will serve as central portal, where all agencies and stakeholders operating in the port will interact and harmonise their operations.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali said Nigeria Customs Service had embarked on a change process that requires the full commitment of other stakeholders.
“We are trying to reduce the time and process in what we are doing and it is only when we abide by this that we can do that. I want to enjoin all of you to join hands with us and make sure that we implement this to the latter.
“When the orders are fully implemented, we will succeed in the mandate and it will also reduce time of doing business at the port,” he said.
Also speaking, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Maritime Police command, Pius Imueh said all Commissioners of Police and Area Commanders have been duly informed of the executive orders on port operation and on the need to secure the movement of goods leaving the port across the country.