The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has given a 24-hour ultimatum to officials of unauthorised government agencies to vacate the seaports or risk being arrested.
The directive is in line with a new order issued to NPA by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
PEBEC directed NPA to ensure strict compliance to the October 26, 2011, presidential directive on agencies permitted to operate in the ports.
The NPA, therefore, reiterated that only eight federal government agencies were allowed to operate and have physical representation at all port locations in the country.
General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, Abdullahi Goje, in a statement, said the agencies allowed representation at the ports were: Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigeria Police; Department of State Security (DSS); Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Port Health and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) should remain at the ports.
The directive stated that other agencies not mentioned in the list should remain outside the ports premises as the Nigerian Customs Service, which is the lead agency for inspection of cargoes, had developed standard operating procedures to facilitate their seamless operation.
“The NPA remains committed to the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to enhance the ease of doing business in the country and the improvement of conditions under which business is carried out in all ports across the country.
“The NPA solicits for the kind support of all agencies and stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime sector towards actualising the noble goal of making Nigeria a destination of choice for all legitimate businesses,” Goje said.
The affected agencies include National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), among others.