Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday launched the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and the Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) to check corruption and other unwholesome practices by service providers at the nations’ ports.
Osinbajo, while launching the portal, advocated the use of technology in controlling corruption in public service, adding that it has proven to be one of the ways of steaming graft.
He said: “It is important to bear in mind that technology remains one of the most important ways by which we can control corruption aside from the consequences of ensuring that corrupt officials are made to face its consequences.”
The vice-president made the disclosure at the launch of the SOP and PSSP by the Ministry of Transportation in conjunction with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja.
According to him, the use of technology is also possibly the most important ways of ensuring that public service is delivered, adding that: “The SOP and PSSP are ways of enhancing the port capacity and reducing corruption in port procedures and adoption.”
Osinbajo who said the launch which marked a milestone in the nation’s port operations added that the technology which would enhance efficient procedures and improve integrity and corrupt-free system, while helping to resolve both internal and external complaints from port operators.
While commending the Minister of Transportion, Rotimi Amaechi, for the audacious task, he said all government agencies and private sector operators must begin to implementing the SOP and PSSP at the ports.
He said: “The SOP and PSSP will not only streamline processes of port operations but will serve as an important component of our renewed commitment to collective efforts aimed at driving inclusive economic growth and development for the country.
“This will lead to more efficient port administration and make it easier to do business in the country.”
According to him, better port procedures has direct impact on the economy as it will make easier for Nigeria to export its goods to other countries.
The VP averred that many countries have proven that without depending on any natural resources but simply relying on efficient procedures in port activities that a nation can position itself as major exporter and can earn significant resources by just being more efficient.
“We believe that technology driven public service is the way forward and this is one of the reasons why we think that the SOP and PSSP will make significant contributions towards using technology to drive growth,”
In his remark, Amaechi said the SOP and PSSP portal would enhance transparency and accountability to ensure that government achieve a user friendly business environment at the ports for greater economic performance.
He added that the portal is a reference guide that informs the public on the process map of each port agency and operator, guiding customers on what to expect at the ports and what they need to do to receive good quality services.