NPA blames cumbersome cargo clearance on obsolete legal framework

Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi

Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Habib Abdullahi has blamed ‘obsolete legal framework’ for the cumbersome procedures at the nation’s seaports.

According to Abdullahi, there is need to address the legal framework and other cumbersome procedures as part of measures to accelerate the clearance of goods under the proposed implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Addressing a delegation from the World Bank led by senior private development specialist, Manuel Henriques on Nigeria’s ratification of TFA, Abdullahi reiterated need for all agencies involved with the clearance of goods and trade facilitation to create a synergy through a single window network.

The delegation are in Nigeria to conduct sight-seeing of operational activities and available facilities at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), Tin Can Island Port (TCIP), among others with a view to identifying the gap for World Bank intervention.

According to Abdullahi, the critical areas are Information Technology, ‘intermodalism through an enhanced rail transport system and provision of training needs for the innovations that would be introduce into the system’.

Earlier, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Swizerland, Ambassasdor David Adejuwon, said the team was in Nigeria in company of World Bank officials to visit border agencies and solicit for cooperation, harmonisation and mutual understanding among all stakeholders.

Adejuwon noted that the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is aimed at fast-tracking clearance and release of cargo at all entry points so as to reduce the cost of transactions.

He disclosed that the World Bank is prepared to assist Nigeria in the area of capacity building especially on technical matters.

Henrigoes stressed the need for the Authority to improved on its information and communication technology facility and quality of infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Abdullahi has assured the United States of America (USA) through her Consular General in Nigeria of the continued support of NPA at creating an enabling maritime environment.

He made the assurance during the visit of the U.S Consular General John Boay to NPA’s corporate headquarters in Lagos.

Abdullahi stated that NPA was ready to partner the U.S as a way of achieving set targets.
A statement issued by NPA quoted Abdullahi as saying some of the achievements recorded by the present management include the enforcement of its regulatory status to terminal operators, attaining standards and avoiding “porousness in our Ports by making sure that things are done rightly’’

He said new Ports are being developed such as the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Akwa Ibom and Badagry Ports meant to assist import and export, adding that there is also specialised Port being put in place at Ondo State for mining purposes only.

In his address, the Consul General promised to assist the Nigeria Government through the NPA in areas such as capacity building and training.

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