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House of Reps

Reps Charge NPA On Container Security Initiative

Containers at the Port

The House of Representatives has charged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to strive to attain Container Security Initiative (CSI) compliance status.

The chairman, House Committee on Ports and Harbour, Nnolim Nnaji, who gave the charge, in a statement , on Monday, said thr CSI compliance status will enable ports in the country “compete favourably amongst the leading ports in the world in line with international Best practices”.

Nnaji noted that currently only two ports in the Africa and 61 in the world have achieved the CSI status. He cited Durban Port in South Africa and Alexandria Port in Egypt as the only ones that have attained the CSI status in Africa.

Therefore, the lawmaker noted that that Nigeria as the giant of Africa must strive to attain the global requirement, stating that “our ports are international gateways for goods and services, therefore issue of security and efficiency must be taken seriously”.

He added: “We recognise the efforts of the NPA and other security agencies in ensuring that the port environment is secured”. Hon. Nnaji noted stressing that the current security challenges confronting the country today required that security at the ports must be stepped up.”

Nnaji decried the current system of physical inspection of goods by customs saying that, “it’s definitely not sustainable and efficient. This manual process only contributes to the delays, huge demurrage and cargo congestion at our ports.

“ It can equally undermine transparency in determining proper contents of containers and encourage revenue leakages for both the Nigerian Ports authority and Nigerian Customs Service, due to false and under declaration.”. Hon. Nnaji further noted, suggesting that adequate scanning facilities should be installed in the nation’s ports to promote efficiency, timely release of cargoes and effective service deliveries.

“The use of Scanning machines for inspection of goods has become the global practice in modern ports so we can’t pretend we don’t know that it is the way to go. Manual examination must give way to scanning services.”

Consequently, the Ports and Harbour Committee Chairman, who represents Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu State, urged NPA to also commence the process of automating Ports” services, declaring that there was no reason why Nigerian Ports should not have high speed internet facilities for all regulatory agencies and Port users for ease of doing business.(Sun)

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