MACN and CBi Launch Cargo Clearance Help Desk in Nigerian Ports
The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) have launched an anti-corruption HelpDesk to support business involved in cargo clearance at ports and terminals in Nigeria. The HelpDesk enables companies to demand, track, and ensure greater compliance with legal Standard Operating Procedures in Nigerian ports, and achieve more efficient cargo clearance. The initiative is relevant for any business using Nigerian Ports and Terminals including Freight Forwarders, Customs Brokers (Licensed Customs Agents), Port & Terminal agents, Importers of Goods and Commodities, Exporters of Goods and Commodities, Truck operators, Stevedoring companies, and Shipping Companies.
Through the HelpDesk, companies can report any cargo clearance issues. These reports will be assigned a trackable case number, allowing for monitoring of progress with a dedicated CBi Helpdesk Manager. CBi will help resolve the case through dialogue with relevant government authorities and other stakeholders.
“Having access to an effective escalation and feedback mechanism is key to improving accountability in the transport and logistics sector and supporting adherence to Standard Operating Procedures during cargo clearance, as well as for reporting and taking action on incidents of corruption. This new HelpDesk fills an urgent need for both business and government involved in cargo clearance” – Says Soji Apampa, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Convention on Business Integrity.
This system has been piloted by the Shipping Industry in Nigeria since 2019 with good results. Challenges that used to lead to days of delays have been resolved in hours. The HelpDesk has now been extended to also cover Cargo Clearance, using the same successful shipping industry model.
“MACN has developed, piloted, and deployed the help desk concept to prevent corruption in vessel clearance in Nigeria and other countries where MACN runs collective action initiatives. There is great interest from the industry in this tool and we have already seen how it helps companies conduct business with integrity and avoid costly delays. To replicate this concept in cargo clearance processes is a natural next step for MACN to address corruption across the extended transport and logistics supply chain.” – Says Cecilia Müller Torbrand, Executive Director of MACN
The HelpDesk will also generate reports and analytics that will assist government stakeholders (e.g. Shippers’ Council, Customs Service, and others involved in cargo clearance) to evaluate themselves on both internal and external regulatory controls.
To drive this initiative, plans are being put in place to form strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors. On the private sector side, there will be an Integrity Alliance Group, an initiative to bring together like-minded individuals in the Private sector who are passionate about driving efficiency in the Nigerian Ports. The membership would consist of players in the Transport and Logistics sector, which would include clearing and forwarding companies, Cargo companies, Freight forwarders, Logistic companies, and other related stakeholders.
The major purpose of the Group is to:
- Monitor present reforms at Nigerian Ports and across the Maritime Industry generally in a bid to recommend changes that would improve Port efficiency and increase the use of the user experience diary.
- Assist in the promotion of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), The Grievance Mechanism portal, and other reporting helplines to resolve issues and challenges faced by different stakeholders
For business operating in Nigeria, cargo clearance in ports is a high-risk process that is vulnerable to both corruption and delays. Through this new HelpDesk, MACN and CBi are working with business to voice their compliance and efficiency challenges and have them resolved in collaboration with the Nigerian Government.
The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.