The Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) has reiterated its commitment to continue sanitising all the nation’s ports and rid them of corruption and unnecessary cargo delays.
National Coordinator of the team, Moses Fadipe made this known while speaking at the 10th anniversary event of Portbizness on Thursday in Apapa, Lagos.
According to him, the advent of the task team has brought about efficiency in the nation’s port system, which has blocked revenue leakages and sustained foreign investments.
Speaking further, he noted that after dismantling all the illegal road blocks and extortion points on the Apapa port corridor, the PSTT is not resting on its oars and is doing everything possible to eradicate traffic congestion caused by trucks to enable free flow of vehicles.
He said: “The work of the team has been praised for its transparency and effectiveness and has helped to build confidence in the country’s maritime sector. The strict monitoring of joint cargo examinations by the Task Team has also yielded significant benefits.
“This has helped to ensure that all cargoes are properly examined and cleared before being released, promoting efficiency and transparency in the clearance process. This has helped to improve the overall efficiency of cargo clearance and turnaround time.
“Another significant achievement has been the success of “Operation Free the Ports’ Corridor” in dismantling illegal checkpoints and extortion points along the port’s corridor. This has helped to reduce the incidence of corrupt practices and the high cost of doing business in our ports”.
Fadipe listed monetary savings, turnaround time, cargo dwell time, improved movement of haulage, reduction in unreceipted charges, and reduction in incidents of infractions as some of the achievements of the team during the short period it has existed.
“The PSTT has helped to save the Nigerian economy a significant amount of money. By reducing delays and inefficiencies in the ports, the task team has reduced the cost of doing business in the country. The savings have been estimated to be in millions of dollars which translates to billions of naira.
“The Task Team has also helped to reduce the turnaround time for vessels in Nigerian ports. By streamlining processes and reducing bottlenecks, vessels can now spend less time in the ports, which have reduced the cost of shipping and increased efficiency.
“The PSTT has also helped to reduce the cargo dwell time in Nigerian ports. By reducing the dwell time, demurrage charges have been reduced, which has saved importers and exporters a significant amount of money.
“The task team has also helped to improve the movement of haulage in and out of Nigerian ports. By reducing delays and bottlenecks, trucks can now move in and out of the ports more quickly, which has reduced the cost of transportation and increased efficiency.
“The PSTT has also helped to reduce unreceipted charges across the entire logistics value chain. By reducing these charges, the Task Team has increased transparency and corruption within the ports and the ports’ logistics ring.
“In the area of vessel clearance, the level of incidence of infractions where ship captains feel unfairly treated has reduced tremendously. This has been attributed to the PSTT’S efforts in enforcing adherence to the provisions of the NPPM and carrying out necessary anti-corruption measures.
“In 2019, there were 266 incident reports with an average demurrage of $20,000 per day. The PSTT was able to prevent unnecessary delays due to quick case resolutions. Case resolutions were down from 7-10 days in the past to 1-8 hours. This trajectory has continued to this day and the amount saved in daily demurrages could be estimated in billions of naira in addition to savings in other operational costs”, he said.
Fadipe, who was tasked to give a mentorship talk to youths at the event, explained that the the PSTT is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM), which includes the implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all port-related activities, ensuring that all government agencies and private sector operators comply with the NPPM, thereby improving the ease of doing business at the ports.
While taking the cadets present through his career journey in the Nigerian Shippers Council, to being the National Coordinator of PSTT, he noted that the amount of efforts they put into their chosen field will determine whether they succeed or fail.
He explained that hard work, networking with the right people, passion, focus and uprightness are the key elements that will see them through to greatness.
“My advise for you is to be focused, determined, persistent and to persevere in the face of challenges. Network with important people and keep that connection; it will come in handy in the future. Always have a plan. Also make sure you have a mentor you can look up to and go to for advice. Be spiritual and hold on to your faith.
“Note that your little effort can go a long way in transforming the society and make the world a better place to live for us all and the unborn generation. Society is waiting for you”, he added.