The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali was again conspicuously absent as heads of maritime agencies met in Lagos, agreeing to set up a timeline for 24 hour port operations. Also absent at the second scheduled monthly meeting which held at the Corporate Headquarters of NIMASA, was the Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron Akwa Ibom State, Commodore Duja Effedua.
The maiden edition of the monthly meeting was hosted last month by Hassan Bello of the Nigerian Shippers Council. Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who spoke with journalists at the end of the meeting on Tuesday said issues bordering on maritime safety and security, port efficiency, inter modal transportation, as well as synergy among agencies in the sector were discussed. He said the forum of CEOs of the agencies had given the maritime industry a platform to grow and contribute more to Nigeria’s economic development.
According to him, “This meeting is the second in the series and it has started yielding positive fruits. For instance, the issue of berthing the NIMASA floating dock, which has lingered for a couple of years, has been resolved through this meeting and very soon it would be deployed for use.”
The NIMASA DG stated that the heads of agencies agreed to play their respective roles to facilitate the operation of 24-hour a day, seven days a week port services. He said this would help to decongest the ports and tremendously impact on the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Federal Government.
Jamoh said the meeting constituted a committee to produce a work plan for the 24-hour port system, and agreed to carry communities around the port environments along in order to ensure safe operations within the port vicinities and beyond. Others who attended included the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr George Moghalu, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Hassan Bello and Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders, Mr. Sam Nwakohu.
In her remarks, CEO of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman said Nigeria must prioritize inter modal system of transportation in line with global best practices