The President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr Lucky Amiwero, yesterday said the federal government should consider giving the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) regulatory and operational powers, this according to him will generate employment for the unemployed.
Speaking to journalists, Amiwero stated that if NPA is redesigned, it is capable of generating over two million jobs.
He advised that the Federal Government should not depend or be too keen about giving the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) monthly targets to generate funds but to give targets on job creation, which will in turn naturally generate revenue.
He added that the NPA has not employed for over six years, contrary to what happens in other countries like Ghana, affirming that this was caused by the exercise that was carried out six years ago, when the ports were handed over to foreigners.
“The ports were given to foreigners and a few local business people to manage,” he said, adding that NPA does not employ because it has no jurisdiction at the ports.
He lamented that the Ghanaian concessioning left them with 25 per cent of ports operations, while the Nigerian concessioning gave all powers away and has no single regulatory power over the concessionaires.
According to him, the Ghanaian imports are handled by the Ghana Port and Harbour Authority whereas in Nigeria they are handled by concessionaires, stressing, “What we have in Nigeria are business entities that have turned the ports into a gold mine.”
He decried that the trade section of the country has been over taken by the multinationals, stressing that in other countries, all parts of ship supply mechanism are not permitted to be handled by foreigners but in Nigeria it is so.
He noted that if these issues were not worked out, Nigerian will continue to miss out in the real benefits of the ports.