The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has said it will enforce the Nigerian Ports Process Manual.The commission further stated that it would arrest and prosecute violators of the manual.Speaking at a joint media briefing by the ICPC and Shippers’Council in Abuja, on Tuesday, the ICPC Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanonye, disclosed that the commission was committed to enforcing the Nigerian Ports Process Manual in collaboration with stakeholder agencies and other security agencies.
He noted, “This whole process started with the ICPC. We have a robust anti-corruption mandate which calls for study of and review of system with a view to identifying loopholes when they are detected. And when they detected and closed, then corruption will have fewer chances of taking place.“The manual explains in a very simplified way, step by step way of what you expect to see at the ports. It is a document worth studying and worth keeping for any Nigerian interested in importing anything outside the country.”Owasanoye, who was represented by the commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, said the agency would ensure compliance with the manual.He added, “We have said several times it is not enough to have a manual, we need to implement it. Implementing it will boost our economy. It will lead to leakages being closed so that we can boost our economy by attracting investment into the country.
“We are working with the shippers council, ports authority and the DSS to fully enforce and ensure that anybody that does not follow these processes as laid down will be subjected to the full process of the law. We will take any step to ensure that the process is not violated.”Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Shippers’ Council, Mr Hassan Bello, said 4000 containers were trapped in the ports owing to the lack of adherence to the electronic transaction and the ports process manual.“Over 4000 containers are trapped in the terminals making the ports lose revenue and the economy bleed.“Once you reduce that by implementing the ports manual, corruption will disappear”, he pointed out.Other stakeholders, notably, the Nigeria Ports Authority and the Nigerian Customs Service unanimously agreed on the imperative of implementing the manual.
Source: The Punch