Seaports and terminals are important areas of social and economic activities with implications not only for the key players, the nation but internationally. The nature of operations and activities in the ports and terminals are therefore very important. Thus the need to empirically understand ports and terminals processes and associated operations for the purposes of interventions and/or consolidations.
This study was therefore conducted in December 2018 as Customers Feedback on Operations at Nigerian Sea Ports and Terminals (Port Users Survey) with focus on operational and governance effectiveness towards professionalism, ethical conduct and corruption. The study was commissioned by the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), in collaboration with SCRAP-C project funded by the UK Aid.
This report which is based on the study findings, addresses the following issues:
- Presence or lack of clear procedures and processes backed up by relevant laws (including obsolete laws and procedures) in many areas of port operation including such processes as Temporary Imports, Permanent imports, Midstream discharge, Emergency importations (Hand carry policy) etc.
- Exercise of discretionary powers by Customs officers and other port agencies including Terminal Operators and Stevedoring Companies including the discretionary powers to impose customs duties and tariffs, classification of goods, port charges and the potential disruption of operations of companies that depend on the ports for the importation of critical parts and goods for their operations.
- Existence or absence of a system of bottlenecks made possible due to wide discretionary powers of port officials and the likelihood for such powers to be used to create opportunities for graft and extortion of port users.
- Payments for services not rendered by port agencies including the dredging of waterways by port users, payment to Stevedoring companies without any services being rendered; collection of pilotage fees in areas outside pilotage districts including international waters etc;
- Awareness or lack of awareness of port users on the existence of the port agencies SOP.
- Availability or absence of complaints/feedback desks/redress mechanisms and the effectiveness of such where available.