Stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime industry will this Wednesday converge in Lagos to discuss the gains and challenges of the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business as the order clocks one year.
The event which is being organized by the foremost online newspaper in the nation’s maritime industry, Primetime Reporters to mark its 2nd Annual Lecture & Awards, will take place at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos at 9:00am.
The theme which has as its theme,”The Gains and Challenges of Presidential Order on Ease of Doing Business in the Nigerian Maritime Industry One Year After”, will have the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as the Chief Guest of Honour while the Anambra State Commissioner for Road, Rail and Water Transport, Hon. Prince Uchenna Charles Okafor will be the Special Guest of Honour.
Also, the event which will be under the distinguished Chairmanship of Dr. Eugene Nweke, former National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), will have the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf deliver the theme paper even as the heads of various government agencies in the maritime industry, leadership of various associations and key stakeholders will take their turn to give their assessment of presidential order in the last one year.
Speaking on the essence of the lecture, the Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo recalled that the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, then Nigeria’s Acting President, on Thursday May 18, 2017 signed an executive order on transparency and improving the business environment in Nigeria.
Nwadinamuo noted that the executive order (EO1) which contained far-reaching measures with direct benefits for Nigerian businesses as a proof of the federal government’s commitment and determination to ease the business environment has five main planks namely; transparency, default approvals, one government, entry experience of travellers and visitors and ports operations.
“However, the lecture seeks to dwell on the last plank which is the port operations. It is pertinent to note here that ports operations as one of the main planks of the executive order (EO1) has what I will call the six enablers on which the order is built and is to be measured. They are as follows; 1. All agencies present at the ports shall harmonize their operations into one single interface station in one location in the port and implement by a single joint task force at all times. 2. The new single interface solution at the ports shall supply weekly data on goods arriving and departing Nigeria to the head of the MDA and head of the National Bureau of Statistics. 3. Each port in Nigeria shall assign an existing port terminal to be dedicated to the export of agricultural produce. 4. The Apapa port shall resume 24 hour operation within 30 day of the issuance of this order. 5. No touting is allowed at the ports by official or nonofficial persons. 6. Any official caught soliciting of receiving bribes from passengers or other port users shall be subject to immediate removal from post and disciplined.
“While implementation deadline for harmonization of operations was July 17, 2017, implementation deadline for designation of export terminal for agricultural produce and the implementation deadline for 24 hour operations at Apapa port was June 17, 2017. (Source: The Nigerian Economic Summit Group).
“One year down the line, there are divergent opinion on whether or not the executive order has actually served its purpose in the industry and whether or not the industry has benefited from it. Hence, as part of our constitutionally assigned duty as the fourth estate of the realm and as part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR), Primetime Reporters has chosen to bring this to the fore for an unbiased and independent assessment of the order with the intent of fine-tuning it for a better result.
“To get this done, we have engaged the intellectual prowess of no less a person than the eminent Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf to do justice to the theme and I have no doubt that he will do justice to the topic”, he said.
He further informed that the organization will in the course of the event honour fourteen (14) eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their various fields with award adding that while twelve (12) of them are from the maritime industry, two (2) of them are not.
He therefore invite all the maritime stakeholders, government agencies and private operators alike to the event adding that there is no better way to spend the day than to be at the lecture and be part of history in the making of the maritime industry in Nigeria