Mr. Demola Irinyemi (Registrar IFFN)
Corruption is a faceless, but to some extent, we see individuals who indulge in this act and they go scot free. The issue is that it can not be eradicated from our ports system but to some extent it can be minimized. One of the things I will suggest is that structures must be put on ground and those structures must be very functional and also systems must be checked, this to some extent will help us out, the structures we have are more like a monument which is not moving, they are there to correct these activities, but the activities still thrive in their very presence, the system must be checked continually in order to locate the lapses. Secondly the terminal operators should work with the stakeholders on ground to ensure that corruption do not prosper in our port, we must ensure that men of proven integrity are put at the helm of affairs where checks are regularly made because corruption is perpetrated by men and will only be checked by men; men who are ready to do the work not minding what they face.
Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho (CEO, NDLEA)
When it comes to the issue of corruption in this country we are all labeled, when you go out of the shores of this country they see us all as criminals and corrupt- minded people, both the leaders and the led, we have been talking about the issue for so long that we have even lost the meaning of the word ‘corruption’, we present the best papers in the world but we don’t implement it. I believe the papers and the talking are enough, it is time now for a more radical approach, if the paper presentations at seminars will not make any difference why are we wasting our time? The way out is to let the Nigerian people understand what the situation really is, show them who the corrupt elements are and let’s make example of them in public.We must take the battle to the common Nigerians and let them know the damaging effect, leaders must also look inwards, check themselves and live by example.
Kingsley Anaroke (Maritime Journalist)
Trying to reduce corruption in the port is a very simple thing. The problem is not that we don’t have structures in place to fight corruption but there must be the political will to fight the scourge of corruption. For instance, we have had this Port Industry Anti-Corruption Standing Committee for some time now, but we have never heard that anybody was arraigned anywhere or that this are the number of people that have been arraigned over the years, it has always been one seminar after the other, but a situation where you say okay we have had 1000 cases and out of these, 50 have been addressed and these are the people that have been found guilty in the court of law for prosecution, this is what will now serve as a deterrent to some other people who may want to fall into the temptation. The way the country is today, the ability to address the corruption issue in the maritime industry would have addressed 50 percent of the corruption in the Nigeria as a whole, because here is the main seat of corruption. So we need the political will plus seriousness and commitment.
Owolabi Omotayo (Water transporter)
I think government needs to create a one-stop-shop for inspections and verification of all activities that are taking place in the port and everything have to be documented, data have to be taken and sent to the relevant authority so that there will not be delay of cargoes in the port, it will also enhance security of the nation. An example of this is the arms importation detected recently, the situation also calls for a one-stop-shop that will accommodate all relevant agencies where you go and clear your goods at the same time, I believe this will stop the corruption, there will no longer be a situation where one agency will clear goods here and another will intercept it there, these things are the tools of corruption and it is causing confusion; all in the name of collecting money.
Sampson Chima (Registrar, NIS)
Corruption has persisted despite the efforts of the relevant committees that have been set up by the government to look into the matter; it is a monster in this country that has been existing for years which government has been putting different measures to see how it will be tackled. The ports is not an exemption, the most important thing is to identify those areas that this corruption thing is coming from
Eniola Odulaja [Contractor]
Corruption abounds everywhere, corruption is in every sector of the economy and it is not only applicable to the port system. The seaport and airport contribute to the economic growth of the country. There should be checks and balances in the sector in every activities in the port, there must be a way to follow -up on all activities. Government should introduce technology to the system, which is a method that will detect if a particular payment is made properly or if there is error in payment and even a gadget that will monitor the containers before clearing. The port is total disorganized.
Njoku Geofrey [Crisp International]
If the various government agencies at the port will be able to carry out their duties diligently with supervision from their superiors, there will be changes. Corruption is not new to the system, so a positive way to reduce it will not also be new. If the agencies are well paid, corruption will reduce and if the importers declare the proper value of what they import into the country, I believe it will also reduce. The importers always want to be rich, so they import illicit goods to this country. The clearing agent on their part should have an in-depth knowledge of what they want to clear. You know that the government agencies, importers and clearing agents are major stakeholders as far as the port system is concerned, so every oneshould do the right thing to effect a change.
Eugene Cajenta (Clearing Agent]
Corruption is a way of life for Nigerians, the truth of the matter is that we all are involved and we all must be involved so as to make a change. Everyone is interested in the money, but do the right thing to keep a clean slate; personally I discover that we can reduce the rate of corruption in this country if only we work hand in hand with one mind and common goals and objectives. It is not the Government agencies alone that are corrupt, other stakes are involved also and we should come together to combat corruption, I mean the agent, importers and government and the common man on the street. It is very easy to reduce corruption and I know very soon things will work out in this our country.