Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has challenged regulatory agencies in Nigeria’s ports to do more in ensuring that Nigeria’s ranking in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is improved.
VP Osinbajo was speaking on Wednesday at the launch of the Nigerian Port Process Manual at the State House, Abuja.
The Vice President said that despite the resources and time put into the fight against corruption since 2015, when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, the CPI has not shown significant improvement.
He said: “while substantial gains have been attained in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, Nigeria’s ranking under certain indices in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, CPI, is yet to show an improvement commensurate to the efforts of the government.
“In terms of utility and relevance, the CPI and its constituent data sources are determined largely by and producer for the consumption of the business community.
“It therefore has significant and reputational and economic implications for countries that are being assessed.”
VP Osinbajo said that the analysis of the CPI shows that ports are the primary point of interface between Nigeria and the business community, whether domestic or international, pointing out that the experiences of the international community shape their perception, which feeds into the reputation of the country.
“A successful systemic intervention in the port sector will rapidly change the narrative, the perception and the ranking of Nigeria in the CPI,” he said.
He reiterated that the Process Manual on Ports Operations was developed to address vulnerabilities identified in processes in the ports.
“The manual is aimed at fostering an enabling environment for domestic and foreign producers.
“It is also aimed at attracting more foreign investment for the nation that could enhance our economic development.”
According to Prof. Osinbajo, the Process Manual on Port Operations is expected to be a key indicator for the effective implementation of the Executive Order 1, issued in 2017 to address and promote transparency and efficiency in the business environment.
“The Process Manual is a step by step trajectory of processes at the ports. It outlines the actors and timelines for each process; it guides the user by highlighting all required documentation, payments, timelines and the responsible agencies.
“It equally guides the port operators by detailing the implementation chain and provides clarity on the time required for each process.
“The process manual is expected to ensure predictability, promote efficiency and accountability, reduce corruption in the port processes, eliminate bureaucratic bottlenecks faced by port users and reduce the opportunity for illegal demands in the ports.
“I am told the service delivery timeline stated in the manual was provided by each of the relevant agencies based on their own standard operating procedures and it is expected that as efficiency and port enabling environment improves, this service delivery timelines will further reduce.
“It is expected that the manual would be reviewed and updated as issues and development emerge.”