The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC) has said, foreign investors shun Nigerian seaports over high level of corruption and corrupt activities taking place in the port.
Speaking when executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, paid him a courtesy visit recently, the ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye added that, foreign investors no longer have interest in investing in the country but in neighboring countries’ seaports.
According to a post on the official Facebook page of the commission seen by LEADERSHIP, the ICPC boss stated that Nigeria’s economy is bleeding from the high level of corruption and corrupt activities taking place in the nation’s seaports that has led to reputational damage of the country.
Prof. Owasanoye noted that, while Nigeria had the capability to realise and sustain a robust economy, its biggest challenge was its inability to block economic leakages.
He, however, reiterated the commission’s commitment to tackle corruption at the Nigerian Ports through the joint efforts of the Ports Standing Task Team, but explained the inability to dedicate officers to be stationed at the ports full-time as the commission does not have sufficient officers and it may end up being counter-productive on the long run.
He explained that the commission is also in partnership with other agencies of government such as Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Department of State Service (DSS) to prevent corrupt activities and promote accountability and transparency in their processes.’Statutorily, we should assist but realistically, we are not able to cope due to limited funding and staffing,’ he said.
He, therefore, maintained that the collaboration of both agencies would be in pragmatic ways and assured of the Commission’s readiness to explore best ways to curb corrupt practices at the Nigerian Ports and other agencies that would need the Commission’s partnership.
Earlier in his address, the executive secretary, NSC, Emmanuel Jime, expressed his gratitude to the ICPC for its collaborative support in the fight against corruption at the ports which has improved the economic growth and development of the country.
Jime explained that, since the adoption of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM), a lot has been achieved in the regulation at the Ports including zero tolerance for gratification in cash and souvenirs, reduction of the average vessel demurrage and the average time for resolving complaints, savings of over $6million for the country from reduced demurrage costs, among other achievements.
All of these, he posited, would lead to an improvement in the country’s Ease of Doing Business and Corruption Perception Index rankings.
He, however, requested for direct attachment of ICPC personnel to the special intervention task force to carry out investigations and other operational activities that would enhance the enforcement drive against corruption at the po