By Ignatius Ushie

In its bid to improve efficiency for effective service delivery at the Nigerian Ports, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) Barrister Hassan Bello recently took the drive to the Federal Ministry of Health when he paid a courtesy call on the Director Port Health Service Dr. Geofery Okatubo in Abuja.

Bello while speaking to Journalist said the aim of the visit was to seek collaboration targeted at all stake holders for efficiency and creating a friendly business environment at the Nigerian ports ridding it of all corrupt practices within the port, adding that the visit was to acquaint the Port Health Service with the operation manual of the agency, hence in every situation they are the first to board the vessel hence the collaboration.

According to Bello, “We are concerned about the time each vessel spend on our waters, Vessels should come in, do their business and leave giving way for others to berth, time is of essence, we also want both parties to be very transparent in all their transactions so as to encourage port business within our waters” he said.

Responding to a question on COVID 19, The Executive Secretary said both parties are looking at the Covid 19 protocols noting that it has became the new normal therefore they are seeking some levels of flexibility that will still not affect the workings of the activities, Hassan said they are talking on how to get things done without breaking world protocols of COVID 19 and still maintain ease in doing business within the port.

The NSC Boss said the port health service will have to spend more time on Vessels coming from countries of interest adding that the overall interest is to maintain adequate time and efficiency is key. The manual is widely accepted, what we are waiting for is the performance, Bello added.

Earlier, the Director Port Health Services, Dr. Geoffrey Okatubu welcome the team from Nigerian Shippers Council promising good work relationship, adding that Port Health Services will do its best to see that the perceived corruption index about Nigerian port is reduced, Okatubo appealed for more time stating that there are new variants of COVID emerging from some countries and that Nigerian need to be very observant to avoid them entering into the country.

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