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By Steve Agbota

India, Pakistan and Egypt have decided to replicate Nigeria’s system to tackle issues of corruption at their various ports.

At the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network conference held in London recently, the three countries approached Nigeria and indicated interest to understudy the measures Nigeria put in place to tackle corruption at its ports.

Daily Sun learnt that most of the measures put in place to tackle corruption at the nation’s Ports are the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) and Nigerian Port Process Manual, (NPPM) among others.

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Speaking with newsmen in Lagos yesterday, Coordinator of Presidential Port Standing Task Team, Moses Fadipe said that government efforts to address the issues of corruption at the nation’s port is being recognised by international community.

“In 2012 there was a petition from Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) based in Demark who have over 170 ocean going countries being their member.

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They tagged Nigeria as one of the most corrupt maritime nations in the world along side Argentina and India. They said we are the most corrupt maritime nation in 2012.

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“When the government got that petition, they didn’t take it lightly because it is very indicting. The United Nation, International Maritime (IMO) and other those bodies are there. They now push that petition to ICPC for investigation. In 2013, ICPC came out with a report which they called Corruption Risk Assessment report vis avis the petition and their findings revealed that Nigeria is one of the most corrupt maritime nations in the world in 2013,” he said.

To improve the system, he said ICPC was asked to bring about change in the maritime sector by partnering with Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigerian Ports Authority and all other maritime agencies to look at the system, the challenges and how to improve it.

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To improve the system, he said ICPC was asked to bring about change in the maritime sector by partnering with Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigerian Ports Authority and all other maritime agencies to look at the system, the challenges and how to improve it.

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He added: “Between 2014 and 2015, all agencies of maritime brought out their SOPs to look at how everybody operate especially the areas that actually make it look less vulnerable or makes it not in tandem with international best practice. So when everybody now brought out their SOPs in 2014 and 2015, they now asked Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC) to harmonise those SOPs, to look at where those agencies overlap functions so that we don’t duplicate functions.

“And NSC with MACN and other international consultants look at these documents, in relation with international best practice and come up with what we called Harmonized Standard Operating Procedures. And this Harmonized Standard Operating Procedures was launched in 2016 by the vice President on behalf of Presidency in Abuja and the whole world say yes, we have gotten an Harmonised Procedure and everything will be okay as from now on, then there was a question that came up, with this harmonized procedure, if I have a problem, how do I go about it?”

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To resolve such issues, he said there was a portal called Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) where anybody can report any infraction against those SOPs, adding that portal was warehoused at the NSC and ICPC to be the enforcement agency.

He said peradventure, if any of those agencies did anything wrong ICPC will come and enforce that infraction and that portal was equally launched alongside SOPs.

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