A frontline Maritime practitioner, Mr. Tony Anakebe has called for the adoption of one stop shop mechanism in the cargo clearance in the Nigerian Maritime industry.
Mr. Anakebe who made this known while speaking in an exclusive chat with Primetime Reporters in Lagos said that unless the measure is adopted, the dream of having a forty-eight hour clearing process in the country would be a mirage.
“But I have been one of those canvassing for one stop shop in the Nigerian ports where all the government agencies involved in cargo clearance would assemble at a spot to play their expected roles and quicken the cargo release from the port”.
He decried the delays that are associated with cargo clearing in Nigeria occasioned by the inability of the terminal operators to position containers immediately it was booked for positioning which amounts to accumulation of demurrages, whichare further transferred to the end user in the streets.
On the 24 hour cargo clearing process being strive for by the stakeholders, Anakebe who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Gold-Link Investment Nigeria Limited noted that the dream may as well not be feasible owing to epileptic power supply in and around the ports adding that cargo clearance would not be possible in darkness.
He also harped on the issue of security in and around Apapa where he said that although the security situation has improved greatly but was quick to add that a lot still needed to be done as cases abound where there were reports of people’s containers being attacked and carted away.
Mr. Anakebe regretted that Nigeria is deficient in the area of policy implementation saying that the government strives to come up with good policies but alleged that implementation had always been the problem.
He recalled that if the programme rolled out by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. NgoziOkonjo- Iweala non assumption of duty were fully followed, the Nigerian Maritime industry would have been better for it.
He disclosed that one of the issues contained in that programme was the port access roads where it was said that the access roads would be reconstructed but up till today, something practical was yet to be done as regards the ports access roads.
He listed the inaccessibility of the roads, the littering of the roads with trucks and tankers as some of the major problems hindering the movement of cargo in and out of the ports.
He however expressed the hope that this year would witness a lot of reforms and improvements in the area of free flow of traffic pointing that as soon as that is achieved, people would heave a sigh of relief and go about their business in a more relaxed and conducive atmosphere.