All is now set for the round table session on service delivery in the nation’s seaports in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt. The session is aimed at achieving what the organisers called “standard operating procedures (SOPs)” that work in Nigeria’s seaports and terminals. It will take place under the auspices of the Business Action Against Corruption (BAAC) project which has attracted commendation from far and near.

The Port Harcourt round table session is coming on the heels of the successful conclusion of similar ones in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja a fortnight ago.

The session which has attracted several stakeholders in the maritime industry and beyond is being organised by the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) through the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi).

To this end, the organisers have intensified engagements with the maritime industry and its stakeholders with the aim of enlightening port users and the general public.

In a statement issued in Lagos and made available to Maritime Bits, they called for increased awareness, collaboration and a communication framework to enable port users familiarise themselves with the SOPs.

It is on record that in 2012, the MACN in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Technical Unit on Government and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) commissioned a corruption risk assessment (CRA) in the Nigerian port sector.

Maritime Bits had reported that corruption risk assessment report made specific recommendations for action to eliminate corruption in the Nigerian port sector. Amongst the recommendations was a proposal for ethics training and capacity-building programmes to strengthen transparency and accountability of port stakeholders.

They noted that the CBi released what it called “Ports User Survey Report” in August 2019 following a customer survey done in December 2018.

According to the statement, one of the recommendations proposed is the need for experienced sharing sessions among Nigerian ports/terminals customers/users, officials/officers, management, government and their West African/European counterparts, in order to enable the Nigerian groups learn how to build and deploy integrity, anti-corruption governance strategies and build positive business environment going forward.

Besides stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy and beyond, the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the parasatals in the Ministry of Transportation are also expected to grace the occasion.

Also expected in Port Harcourt which remains Nigeria’s second largest port and industrial centre are relevant regulatory agencies, organised private sector, importers, exporters and other port users.

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