Expert calls for established Port Community to boost sector efficiency

The maritime industry in Nigeria needs to have an effective Single Window System to enable the regulatory agencies perform optimally to support the trade systems for global competitiveness.

Chairman of the Nigerian Port Consultative Council (NPCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin, made the observation on Monday at a one-day seminar organised by the Maritime Industry Advocacy Initiative in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority for maritime journalists.

Delivering a paper titled “Getting the Port Industry to deliver on its mandate,” Otunba Folarin noted that there had been conflicts of functions among the supervising    agencies even at the ministerial level, making it difficult for the industry to give value in trade as expected.

He said “there are problems in the industry among the agencies because of conflicts in their enabling laws, conflicts of functions, ministerial supervision as well as interference by the National Assembly.”

The NPCC Chairman observed that the conflicts among the agencies would always result in abandonment of projects. He said, “The consequences hinders progress on the project Nigeria, where projects are either abandoned or unduly delayed.”

Folarin advised that “Inter-agency cooperation will result in high compliance level from industry operators, and there will be zero tolerance for inefficiency.”

He also said that it was important that the port community understood explicitly the mandate of the various agencies of government within the port system.

Speaking also at the seminar, the Chairman, Lagos Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr. Quasim Akinreti, urged the journalists to adequately report the potential of the maritime industry as a Blue Economy.

Akinreti noted that a robust reportage of the sector could open new areas yet to be known for their wealth-creation in the industry.

Making contributions also, a former maritime journalist and retired General Manager of the Lagos Traffic Radio, Mr. Layinka Adagun, charged journalists to explore the industry through quality reportage to create the awareness required to further sell the benefits embedded in the sector for economic growth and development.