| Code: 69252 |

TIN news:     Barring any last change in the current scheme of things at the nation’s port industry, the Federal Government has concluded plans for the takeoff of the Standards Operating Procedure SOP, for all stakeholders both institutional and individual stakeholders.
The SOP, which cover even government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and other agencies, freight forwarding firms, associations, terminal operators and shipping companies, among several others.
The Procedure covers a summary of functions, duties of an agency or purpose of an organisation or association and method of delivering these services or functions to the various publics with a view to ensuring efficiency and customer satisfaction.
A source at the Federal Ministry of Transport hinted that that all is set for the official launching of the SOP put together by the Nigerian Shippers Council, the nation’s port economic regulator by Vice President Yemi Osibajo before the end of November to enhance effective takeoff of the scheme by January 1, 2016.
According to him, as part of measures to come up with the procedures, an inter-ministerial committee covering Federal Ministries of Transport, Finance, Justice, and Trade and Investments was put in place to work out the framework for the procedures and guidelines for enforcement.
It was also gathered that apart from the inter-ministerial committee, the NSC has also put in place an in-house committee from various departments of the agency, which is working with the larger committee to ensure that SOP would be acceptable to all stakeholders.
This is even as he disclosed that efforts were being made currently to secure an appointment with the Vice President in order to fix a suitable date for public launching of the procedures to enable the NSC commence enforcement January 1, 2016.
Part of the objectives of the SOP include to provide stakeholders and members of the public with adequate knowledge of its operations at the ports, serve as a guide to members of staff of every organisation, personnel or members of the public, organizations, agencies and associations with respect to the discharge of their duties or functions at the seaports.
Others include, to help stakeholders know their responsibilities to the particular agency or organisation or association and also specifies operational areas or limits of an agency, organisation or association.
The procedures also aim at spelling out the operational procedures as to when, what, how and other time lines for services and operations in order to enhance timeliness and efficiency. It was gathered that the overall objective of the SOP is to make the nation’s ports efficient, userfriendly, cheap and competitive especially among comity of seaports not only within the West and Central African Sub-region but also across the entire globe.
National Mirror learnt that the NSC, the economic regulator, which is also the designer of the SOP, believed that dream of achieving a competitive, userfriendly and efficient would be realized by its implmentation.
Investigations showed that after the official launch of the SOP by the Vice President in Lagos, the NSC will take steps to launch the scheme in every port location across the country within the country in order to sensitise stakeholders and service providers.

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