The National Coordinator of the Presidential Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) and Director, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Fadipe Moses Olayemi says the Team has resolved bottlenecks in the Nigerian Seaports and its Corridors for efficient operations and enhanced service delivery within the port ecosystem.
Fadipe who oversees all the costal ports of the federation (Apapa, Tin can, Onne, Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt), spoke with Citizen NewsNG Correspondent in an exclusive interview in Lagos.
According to him, the Presidential Port Standing Task Team was set up to implement and ensure compliance with the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM).
The Nigeria Port Process Manual is a document that spelt out the trajectory of the activities by various port agencies in the maritime industry as captured in their Standard Operation procedures (SOP’s).
The PSTT comprises Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NPA) as lead agency, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence (ICPC), Department of State Service (DSS) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
With his dedicated Team of Professionals, Fadipe has continually demonstrated resilience and hard work in the discharge of his duty.
He has restored orderliness and Seamless Operations in the Nigerian Seaports amidst numerous challenges.
On each day at his duty Post, He sets target for himself and his Team Members. A practice commended by stakeholders in the Maritime industry.
Fadipe’s office is a hive of activity. In his timeline, there is no official closing time during field operations.
Known for his unrelenting spirit, Fadipe does not sit back in his office to give instructions or directives; but he goes round the Ports across the country for On-the-Spot assessment.
“Sometimes, My Team and I spend a larger part of the day on the field to ensure an effective and hitch-free Port Operations”, He said.
Continuing, he said: “We are very civil in our operations. You will never see us use total force except if we had explored all avenues”.
“Our Outfit can arrest anybody that breaks the law; even security agents. We are always at the Ports to ensure that things are done right”, He stated.
According to Fadipe, efficient Port Operation is vital to the economic development of Nigeria.
The National Coordinator stated that the PSTT has records (Pre-arrival notification) of all the vessels coming into the Nigerian waterways in its Realtime and Automated Tracking Computer systems.
“The Technology adopted is really helpful and it curbs sabotage. In the past, it takes an average time of about 5 hours for Vessels to move from anchorage to the berth as against a maximum of 90 minutes presently”, He said.
“It will interest you to know that we started this activity in March 2021. In 2020, we had about 121 Infractions and in 2019 we had 266 cases and before 2019 there were interventions, so we decided to put the outfit as a permanent one”
“When PSTT began operation, we had 40 infractions throughout 2021 and keeps reducing every year and As at today, we had near zero because every stakeholder pays for their misdemeanor”.
“The Vessel captains who are afraid before to come to the Nigerian Ports are now bold enough to come to Nigerian Seaports. when they arrive they know the Government Agency to contact in real time”.
Fadipe stated further that there had been improved Turn-around-time of vessel cargo evacuation has improved significantly.
According to him, in the past, the average number of containers examined per day was 125 but today, they handle 230 per day.
“PSTT collaborates with the various stakeholders both government and private organisations to achieve more because we really need to bring sanity back into the industry with our collective efforts”, Fadipe said.
“Apart from Lagos Ports, we (PSTT) are in Rivers State with a State coordinator of covering Portharcourt and Onne and we are gradually moving to Calabar and Warri Ports. We are definitely spreading out and also, we keep engaging with stakeholders because we cannot do it alone. We have been collaborating with the Media too”, He emphasized.
Fadipe hinted that he lectures his Members of Staff and Security Agencies attached to the PSTT every day before they embark on field operations.
“Today, other countries of the world are willing to understudy how we were able to get to this stage of efficient Ports Operations on vessel boarding and rummaging in Nigeria”, He said.
“Recently, at a conference in Denmark, Nigeria was adjudged the best country with Ports Operations system”, Fadipe recalled.
Citing the Challenges on the Job, Fadipe said the PSTT has been ambushed at different times and held hostage for several hours by heavily armed state actors during field operations but they triumped.
“The risks of the job are too high but in our little way, we will continue to do our best”, He vowed.
In his parting words, Fadipe said: “In life, what do you want to live for, what do you Stand for? what do you want to be remembered for? Nothing comes easy in life but if you are passionate, you persevere and believe that what you are doing will benefit many people, God in His infinite mercy will make you overcome. I want to be remembered for Positive change”.
He however charged the Stakeholders to support the Federal Government in its efforts to ensure an efficient and transparent Maritime Industry. He also enjoined them to operate within the stipulated Operational procedures and Standards.
With decades of experience in the Maritime Industry, Mr. Fadipe Moses Olayemi has distinguished himself among his Contemporaries.
Citizen NewsNG research reveals that since Fadipe assumed as the National Coordinator of Presidential Port Standing Task Team, the PSTT has delivered on its mandate with its meagre resources.
By Olabode Adeyeri
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