NPA harps on anti-corruption in shipping sector

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has stressed the need for all stakeholders to work together to fight corruption in the maritime industry.

Bala-Usman, who joined officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in an awareness walk to commemorate the 2019 World Anti-Corruption Day, in Lagos, yesterday, said everyone has to work together to eradicate corruption.

“I believe that we have to work together and strengthen collaboration against corruption. I am here as a representative of the maritime industry. We believe that there is a need to entrench transparency and accountability across the board in all our operations,” she said.

Bala-Usman, however, said the agency would not be bullied or intimidated by anyone regarding its withdrawal of support for the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA).

She emphasised that the agency will stand firm on its position and the legality of what it has done.

“We believe that we have to make our ports competitive, we have to reduce the cost of doing business in our ports, and by so doing we stand to say that we reaffirm that vessels coming into Nigeria should not be paying private companies for any form of security.

“Nigerian Navy and indeed NIMASA should provide the requisite security required, as entrenched in the statutes of the maritime sector,” she said

The EFCC led by the Zonal Head, Mohammed Rambo, in partnership with the NPA, led various stakeholders and civil society groups in the two kilometres awareness walk against corruption.

Rambo submitted that the effect of corruption permeates every sector, and the challenge therefore calls for concerted efforts. He said the EFCC does not pretend to have the monopoly of knowledge on how the fight can be fought and won, and as such, they can only be tackled with concerted efforts.

“The message for this year is well-themed and timed. We must all have zero tolerance for corruption. That prevention is better than cure no longer begs for relevance; it is rather an axiom we must embrace. Our collective resolve to foster attitudinal change, shun the alluring temptation of acquiring illicit wealth and embrace work that can promote the culture of accountability and transparency at all levels remain pivotal to correcting the menace in our society.

“To take Nigeria out of the woods, we must resolve to expose any unpatriotic deed that can drive the country into disrepute,” he said.

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