Sunday, April 18, 2021

After threat of legal action, NPA makes u-turn, excludes NDLEA from seaport ban


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
tiamin rice

The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has reversed its earlier decision in banning the operations of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and three others from the Nigerian ports.

NPA said that the 2011 Presidential Directive to reduce agencies operating at the ports includes the NDLEA, contrary to what the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, said last week during the announcement of the ban.

On Monday, the NDLEA chairman, Mustapha Abdullahi rejected the NPA’s ban on his agency and threatened to take legal action should the NPA refused to allow the anti-drug trafficking agency carry out its operation.

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But 24 hours later, a statement by the Principal Manager, Public Affairs of NPA, Ibrahim Nasir, on Tuesday in Lagos, listed eight government agencies as those allowed to be at the ports. They agencies, according to Nasir, include Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Nigeria Police, Department of State Service,DSS, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, and Port Health Services.

Mr Nasiru also stated that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, had been approved to operate at the ports.

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He said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation communicated the directive to the Managing Director of the NPA through a memo.

He added that the memo indicated that a methodology, which would ensure that only relevant cargoes were inspected by the NDLEA, would be worked out.

He said other agencies not mentioned in the list would remain outside the port premises as the authority would develop standard procedures to facilitate their seamless operations.

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“The NPA remains committed to the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to ease of doing business in the country.

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“It also remains committed to the implementation of the Executive Orders recently issued by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the improvement of conditions under which business is carried out in all ports across the country.

“We solicit for the kind support of all agencies and stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime sector toward actualising the noble goal of making Nigeria a destination of choice for all legitimate businesses,’’ he said.

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