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President Goodluck Jonathan sacks 10 agencies from ports

By on October 11, 2011

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday  approved the sack of 10 agencies from the nation’s seaports.

The affected agencies were accused of working against the international best practices in port administration.

They include the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Directorate of Naval Intelligence (DNI) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Others are the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), the Plant Quarantine and Animal Quarantine (PQAQ), the National Environmental Regulatory and Standards Agency (NESREA) and the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN).

Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who served the two-week eviction notice, warned against extortion at the ports.

Beside, she restated the determination of the Jonathan’s administration to reduce the time spent on good clearance from several weeks to about a week or less as obtained in other climes.

The two-week quit notice given by the President expires next week.

Addressing stakeholders and reporters after inspecting facilities at Apapa ports, the minister said the President has directed that only five out of the 14 agencies at the ports should be allowed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to operate after the expiration of the ultimatum.

The agencies allowed under the new dispensation are: the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Ports Police, State Security Service (SSS) and Ports Health.

The NPA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the minister said, would also continue to perform their statutory functions at the ports.

According to her, the President directed that the NCS should embark on 24-hour operation at the ports.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala said the measure was part of President Jonathan’s efforts to make the ports efficient and attractive for business in the West African sub-region.

The minister, who spoke on behalf of members of the Presidential Committee on Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, which included the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar and other top government functionaries, said the NPA, has been empowered to enforce the order and regulate the charges and the activities of the terminal operators for efficiency.

She said: ‘‘The task force was set up by Mr President to try to solve the problems at our ports. I am here with a simple message from the President and that message is that it is time for our ports to start working. And they must start working for honest and hardworking Nigerians. Not for those who are trying to make things more complicated, make money out of the ports and make life more difficult for the honest business men, man or woman in this country.

“We must make our ports work for Nigerians who want to create jobs. That really is what Mr President wants us to do. And I think that our being here today is a demonstration that we mean to act. It is no longer time for talking. We know that without an efficient port system, to reduce those cost so that our business men will have wherewithal to create more jobs would be difficult.

“Now, working in a port is a complicated business because you have many actors, many stakeholders, you have the Customs, government agencies, you have shipping companies, you have shipping agents, you have Customs agents, you have concessionaires at the ports and many actors and each one of them has different set of issues and problems.”


  1. okaji

    October 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Terrific! Great going, Ngozi!

  2. Mosesogbeide

    October 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    ispread your tentacles to the murtala muhammed airport.Those guys there are tarnishing our alrady tarnished image with extortion.