SON’s return to seaport worries stakeholders

SON’s return to seaport worries stakeholders
Photo by Rinson Chory- Ask Nigeria

SON has been lobbying stakeholders, lawmakers and the executive.

The Ease of Doing Business (EODB) is an index published by the World Bank. It is an aggregate figure that includes different parameters which define the ease of doing business in a country. One of these critical elements for ranking EODB Index around the world is the availability of seaports. This includes efficient cargo clearance, quick turn-around time of vessels and cargo dwell time. In the same vein, the Federal Government of Nigeria has identified hindrances against achieving EODB at the port as including difficult clearing processes and numerous government agencies involved in the clearing process.

Consequently, Nigeria has ranked lower in the World Bank index. To ensure seaports efficiency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo signed an executive order in 2017 cutting down the number of agencies at the country’s seaports from 11 to 7. Seaports are one of the key measurements of EODB in the world because 80 percent of trade are seaborne. This means that ports are enablers of national when well managed by the government. To improve Nigeria’s ranking on the index, the Vice President launched the second National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business as part of the administration’s medium-term Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) to build a competitive economy.

Some agencies were sacked from the ports, but SON is lobbying to return.

In order to implement this plan, the Federal Government reformed the ports and sacked several agencies from there. The affected agencies were: Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON); Port Quarantine Services; National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS); National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA); and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), among others. Of all these agencies, SON has been lobbying stakeholders, lawmakers, and even the executives for a return to the ports.

According to the Director-General of the agency, Mallam Farouq Salim said that the Customs Service only do random checks of 10 out of 100 containers coming to the ports and border stations and this has resulted in the high influx of substandard products into the country. But stakeholders have disagreed with this claim. They said that SON’s returning to the ports will further reduce Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank EODB Index, which is not something Nigeria needs right now.

Stakeholders ask the agency to strike a balance.

Those who have refused the return of SON to seaports in the country, have urged the agency to strike a balance between core quality standard, regulatory obligations and revenue collection, rather than seeking to return to the seaport. A former president of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Eugene Nweke, said that SON’s absence in Nigeria’s seaports has no correlation with the high influx of substandard goods being brought into the country through the seaport. Instead, he said that it is about revenue generation, which no Nigerian agency rivals the Nigerian Customs Service.

Nweke urged Nigerians to inquire why substandard goods are only dumped in Nigeria’s shores and not those of the neighboring countries’ ports. He explained that the reason substandard cargoes were not shipped to neighboring countries were because shipping companies are penalized for bringing substandard cargo into those countries. He added that Nigeria must have a national shipping policy which foreign shipping lines must obeyed if they are operating or wishing to operate in the shores of the country.

Dr Segun Musa lamented clearing agents calling for SON’s return.

The managing director of Wildscope International Logistics Limited, Dr Segun Musa, lamented about clearing agents who were calling for the return of SON to seaports. He said that they may have been compromised. He argued that SON and some other agencies were sacked from the seaports for frustrating cargo clearance procedures. He said that in the 21st century, cargo clearance is digitized and automated worldwide, but he wondered why people have decided to drag the industry backwards over personal interest.


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Ask Nigeria
2 months ago

SON’s return to seaport worries stakeholders – SON has been lobbying stakeholders, lawmakers and the executive. – Express your point of view.

DimOla
Member
1 month ago

If the coming of SON to the seaport will affect the EODB, it should not be allowed at the seaport.

SarahDiv
Member
1 month ago

The efficiency of EODB should be the government top priority rather than bringing limiting factors. If bringing SON will affect the EODB for now it should be put on hold.

Remi1
Member
1 month ago

Those who oppose permitting SON to be brought back into the nation’s seaports have urged the agency to strike a balance between the many regulatory obligations and the most crucial quality requirement.

theApr
Member
1 month ago

Striking a balance between core quality standard, regulatory obligations and revenue collection, rather than seeking to return to the seaport is important. Especially for those who have refused the return of SON to seaports in the country.

Tonerol10
Member
2 months ago

Since other were ostracized so also is Standard organization of Nigeria is not allowed to operate now. We no need am

Hassan Isa
Member
2 months ago

The enormous volume of low-quality items that enter the country through Nigeria’s seaports has nothing to do with the fact that the Standards Organization of Nigeria is not present in those seaports.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
2 months ago

Those who have opposed allowing SON to be brought back into the country’s seaports have asked the agency to find a middle ground between the most important quality standard and the many regulatory duties.

Adesanyaj72
Member
2 months ago

The State Operations Network is the only one of these institutions that has been lobbying stakeholders, lawmakers, and even executives for a return to the ports.

Last edited 2 months ago by Adesanyaj72
Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
2 months ago

It is not something that Nigeria needs right now for SON to return to the ports since it will further lower Nigeria’s standing in the EODB Index maintained by the World Bank.

Iyanu12345ogg
Member
2 months ago

I believe SON’s return will play more tremendous role in ensuring credible and quality goods are brought into the country than customs

Taiwoo
Member
2 months ago

Because ships carry 80 percent of all goods traded, seaports are one of the most important indicators of economic development anywhere in the world. This indicates that ports, provided they are efficiently managed by the government, can serve as national enablers.

Chibuzor
Member
2 months ago

It is a composite number that takes into account a variety of criteria that describe how easy it is to conduct business in a certain nation.

Kazeem1
Member
2 months ago

The challenging clearing procedures and the large number of government entities that are engaged in the clearance process are two of the obstacles that the Federal Government of Nigeria has highlighted as preventing the port from gaining EODB status.

Ultra0711
Member
2 months ago

Standard organization of Nigeria attempts to return to sea port should be denied and nullified. They should just stick to the lay down rules of sea port as they are not the only agency that was ostracized.

jdpumping
Member
2 months ago

I see no reason why SON is lobbying to go back if all agencies were asked to leave in order for smooth running of operations at the Port by customs,it seems the clearing agents clamoring for their comeback have other hidden agendas .The Port needs too be left alone for the custom officials to do proper job.

Abusi
Member
2 months ago

I see no reason stakeholders will worry about the return of Standard organization of Nigeria back to seaports. They will play more tremendous role in ensuring credible and quality goods are brought into the country than customs.

Haykaylyon26
Member
2 months ago

A country must have shipping policy that will serve as guidelines in the shipping sector. And new technology is required so it will make work there easy and fast like clearing and moving of loads

Adeolastan
Member
2 months ago

For the proper effective cargo clearing in the country,we need technology driving clearing port because all developed countries across the world use technology in their port and this has really help them in clearing the cargo and very fast.

Bola12
Member
2 months ago

The return of SON to the ports will further lower Nigeria’s standing in the World Bank EODB Index, which Nigeria does not require at this time.

Tolaniiii
Member
2 months ago

It is necessary for Nigeria to have a national shipping policy, which must be adhered to by all international shipping companies that are now operating in or wish to operate inside the shores of the country.

Christiana
Member
2 months ago

Because shipping companies risk financial penalties if they are caught transporting substandard cargo into a neighboring country, such countries do not receive shipments of cargo that does not meet the required standards.