NAGAFF, stakeholders laud MAJAN democracy lecture.

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Calls for efficiency in the ports


By Chinonye Anyatonwu

The President, Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN) Mr. Raymond Ugochukwu has call on the Federal Government, stakeholders and maritime agencies to come together and do what is needed to reposition the maritime sector for greater productivity.

He made this statement at a one- day media lecture organised by  MAJAN at NAGAFF with the theme “19 years of Nigeria’s unbroken democracy; the journey so far in maritime industry’.

In his speech, “I delved into this brief maritime history to buttress the point that Nigeria is no longer a baby in shipping and related activities. With the restoration of democracy in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo initiated port reforms in 2006. By this, port terminals were concessioned to private firms, a development that resulted in over 22 companies taking over the running of port terminals in all ports.”

Speaking at the event, the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr- Boniface Aniebonam, said “For me I believe there is hope for the maritime sector of the economy, especially looking at 19 years of democracy in Nigeria. There is hope for democracy dividend at the ports because we are discussing the challenges we face every day.  If you say there is no hope, let the police go on strike for just one day, for us to see how the country will be”.

 “Looking at the way things are in the ports now, l think we would have been better with Nigerian ports Authority, (NPA). However, I still believe there is hope, “he assured.

The former General Manager of NPA, Mr. Dele Alabi (retired) in his topic “Making Apapa Safe and Accessible As Gateway To The Nation’s Economy” said that Apapa as a neighborhood and industrial zone is appropriately referred to as a goose that lays the golden egg in view of it’s important and prominence as the zone where government as well as corporate bodies and individuals earn huge revenue.

He however called for effective synergy among government agencies in the ports, with a view to enhancing optimum productivity for future development.

The Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Apapa Customs Command of  Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) Compt. Jubrin Musa, who was represented by the image maker of the Command, Nwala Nkiru said that Apapa Command has recorded remarkable performance in revenue generation as well as trade facilitation.

She enthused, “We work 24 hours at Apapa Command including Saturdays and Sundays, in order to fast track cargo clearance in the port.  Under the supervision of compt. Jubrin, central examinations can be carried out in-order to achieve 24 hours cargo clearance”.

Earlier speaking, the CAC of Ports and Terminal Multi- purpose Limited (PTML) Comptroller Tade Adetayo said, “Customs is saddled with the responsibilities of trade facilitation, revenue generation for government and anti- smuggling operations.  In order to achieve economic growth now and in the long run, these functions must be carried out effective”.

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