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Home ECONOMY Revenue Leakages in Ports: Nweke Canvasses for S’African Rebranding Model in...

Revenue Leakages in Ports: Nweke Canvasses for S’African Rebranding Model in Nigeria

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*Says Maritime industry over-ripe for ‘The Governor of Maritime Industry’
By Francis Ugwoke

To address issues of revenue leakages of fraudulent practices involving government officials, shipping services providers and importers in Nigerian ports running into hundreds of billions of Naira being lost by government on regular basis, the nation’s maritime industry requires the South African applicable experience of ‘rebranding’, the former President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders(NAGAFF), Dr. Eugene Nweke, has canvassed.

Nweke said such rebranding will entail a complete reorientation beginning with officials/operatives of government agencies then followed by other stakeholders.

He maintained that this approach was the only sure way to block revenue leakages, budgetary allocation wastages and move our maritime industry forward.

In a statement, he said, “by rebranding and reorientation I posit that government and its officials must be willing and committed to advance the maritime industry interests over and above political interests”.

He argued that to achieve positive landmark in this direction, the federal government should start thinking of the workable administrative option of promoting an “industry centralization and compartmentalization”.

He added, “Taking a leave from the Central Bank Of Nigeria Administrative Structure, and expanding it further, the Maritime Industry is over ripe for a Governor, that’s: THE GOVERNOR OF MARITIME INDUSTRY, NIGERIA ( MIN) wherein only one ministry supervises the Industry, with various specialized departments and units of statutory agencies integrated into the new administrative structure under a Central Governor of the maritime industry.

“The Rebranding process also entails the repealing and disenactment of several enabling agencies acts. It will only require a visionary and patriotic leader with strong political and economic will power and the interest of the nation and suffering citizens.

“It is with these recourse and premise that the essence of viable maritime industry cannot only be achieved but will be attested to.
“This is with prejudice, my professional position on the sure way to block revenue leakages, budgetary allocations wastages and move our maritime industry forward.

“I make bold to say that, the present structure aides and sustains institutional corruption, industry malpractices and fraud, which is also called corruption in almost all strata/sectors of the maritime industry and at the long revenue leakages and security breaches thrives unabated.
“The quest for port automation, concessioning of public enterprises, creation of committees, fiscal and monetary policies, etc are merely a stop gap measures that are not sustainable in a dynamic environment as the maritime industry”.


Nweke’s full statement reads:


” Nigeria should have a short federal exclusive list, consisting of Foreign Affairs, National defense and security, Commerce and Currency. We should have a short concurrent list, consisting of Policing, taxation and tertiary education/health. Whatever isn’t listed belongs to the residual powers of the states, on which federal government would have only broad regulatory and incentivizing roles”. – Prof. Attahiru Jega.

“After a curious and deeper study of the administrative structuring of the Maritime; America, Russia, Indian, Brazil, China, etc in terms of their population, marine domain ( size) and industry stratas, one can then appreciate the essence of “industry centralization and compartmentalization”, as industry interests are centrally narrowed ( and not agencies vested and divided as obtain in Nigeria) towards achieving same goal for the government and the people.

The maritime settings in the above sited Nations, gives credence to the thoughts canvassed above by Prof. Attahiru Jega, which I also share in.

“To state the obvious, the too many legislative instruments prevalence, with its uncoordinated administrative policy interplay, occasioned non industry interests but more of political interests in the Nigeria Maritime Industry is bane of the industry, hence, promoting gross revenue leakages, security breaches via smuggling activities.
The Nigeria Maritime Industry key operations can be categorized into : a). Ships & Ports Infrastructure/Cargo Equipment ( Operators and Services Providers); (b). Oil & Gas ( Upstream and Downstream) Service Operators; (c). Maritime Logistics Service Providers ( Platforms, Ship Yards, Haulage Logistics & Other Operators); (d). International & National Shipping Companies, Oil Supply Companies, and International organizations; (e). Financial Institutions: Central Bank, Commercial Banks, InterBanks,Insurance Companies, etc; (f). Maritime Statutory/Regulatory Authorities; National & International, Professional Regulatory Bodies ( National & International), Consultants, etc.
In this key operational categories, the following agencies and body are operationally enabled by a legislative instruments:
a. OIL GAS:
NNPC, PPMC, DPR, NAPIMS, LOCAL CONTENT BOARD DESK, FREE TRADE ZONES, NCDMB, PENCOM, etc.
b. STATUTORY REGULATORY AUTHORITIES AND OTHERS WITH MARITIME INTERESTS:
NIWA, NPA, NSC, NCS, NIMASA, NDLEA, NAFDAC, QUARANTINE, SON, NESRA, NRC, POLICE, DSS, NN, NA, NP, MAN ORON, CRFFN, IOTA, CILT, etc.
Other registered Associations with core interests in the maritime industry without an enabling legislative instruments other than the freedom of Association and business registration as provided in constitution of the federal republic, are:
a. TRADE ASSOCIATIONS/CONSULTANTS:
NACIMA, LCCI, IOD, NESG.SAL, WILAT, WISTA,
b. TRAINING INSTITUTIONS:
CIS, NIIT, NIFFCB, FUTO,NDU, UNILAG, NMU, NIS, CILT,MAAN, etc.
c. PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:
SHIP CHANDLERS, FREIGHT FORWARDERS, SEAFARERS, SAN,TRUCKERS, STEVEDORING, INSURANCE, FISH TRAWLERS, STOAN, NIM, NISA, SLOK, etc.
d. SUPERVISORY FEDERAL MINISTRIES:
FMOT, FMOA, FMOTC&I, FMOF, FMOH, FMOE, FMOP, etc.
“Expectedly, the Maritime Industry provides with the following job opportunities in the areas of, including but limited to:
π. Ship Chandling. π. Security. π. Equipment Leasing. π Seafarerring. π. Import & Export Business. π. Freight Forwarding/Customs Brokerages. π. Stevedoring. π. Fish Trawling. π. Health, Safety and Environment. π. Logistics and Trucking. π. Ship Salvaging & Wreck Removal. π. Lightering & Lighterage Services. π. Engineering in relation to Dry-docking, Ship Building and Ship Yards. π. Port Terminal Operations, Equipment Handling. π. Inventories, Information and Communication Technology. π. Man Power Development & Capacity Building π. Insurance. π. Media , Public Relations. π. Consolidators, Break Bulk Agent, Ship Chattering/Ship Brokerage Services. π. Banking & Ship Finance. π. Warehouse and Offdock Terminal. π. Perishable Produce & Cold Storage Logistics. π. Marine & Ocean Divers. π. Underwater welding engineering. π. Sea Dredging Services. π. Ship Ropes and accessories. π. Various non technical skills jobs with varies of corporate firms, etc.
It is naturally obvious from the above background that the maritime industry is designed to serve as key employer of labour, cum the fulcrum drive of the nations revenue. Unfortunately, the too many vested interests of political representation via multiple federal ministries, vagaries of the statutory agencies enabling legislative instruments , with a seeming overlapping functions saliently promoting supremacy tussles amongst the heads of agencies and most worrisomely being the non sufficient coordination of the functions to drive the central policy thrusts of the government, as government are daily short changed in various operational and administrative misgivings.
I make bold to say that, the present structure aides and sustains institutional corruption, industry malpractices and fraud, which is also called corruption in almost all strata/sectors of the maritime industry and at the long revenue leakages and security breaches thrives unabated.
The quest for port automation, concessioning of public enterprises, creation of committees, fiscal and monetary policies, etc are merely a stop gap measures that are not sustainable in a dynamic environment as the maritime industry.
To make a slight shift from Prof. Attahiru Jega thoughts, the Nigeria Maritime Industry requires the South African applicable experience known as “REBRANDING” which its reorientation begins with the government then the stakeholders.
By Rebranding and Reorientation I posit that Government and its officials must be willing and committed to advance the maritime industry interests over and above political interests.
To achieve positive landmark in this direction, the government should start thinking of the workable administrative option of promoting an “industry centralization and compartmentalization”. Taking a leave from the Central Bank Of Nigeria Administrative Structure, and expanding it further, the Maritime Industry is over ripe for a Governor, that’s: THE GOVERNOR OF MARITIME INDUSTRY, NIGERIA ( MIN) wherein only one ministry supervises the Industry, with various specialized departments and unites as noted above, the listed statutory agencies will be integrated into the new administrative structure under a Central Governor of the maritime industry. The Rebranding process also entails the repealing and disenactment of several enabling agencies acts. It will only require a visionary and patriotic leader with strong political and economic will power and the interest of the nation and suffering citizens.
It is with these recourse and premise that the essence of viable maritime industry can not only be achieved but will be attested to.
This is with prejudice, my professional position on the sureway to block revenue leakages, budgetary allocations wastages and move our maritime industry forward.
Thanks for your attention.
Dr Eugene Nweke Ksm, Rff.
Formal National President of Nagaff/Head Of Research & Policy Group.
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