Nigeria: Reforming the Maritime Ports

10.15.2016 | Case Studies

Executive Summary

The efficiency of port operation is a major driver of trade and economic activities across countries. Unfortunately, over the years, users and operators at the Nigerian Ports have been facing lingering challenges and bottlenecks namely, infrastructure shortcomings, policy and regulatory inconsistencies, overlapping functions and duplication of roles among the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) operating at Nigerian Ports, high incidence of infractions of the MDAs.

To take advantage of the present opportunity presented by the imperative to diversify the economy, LCCI in partnership with FDC, is riding on the present research to identify and to propose solutions to the key challenges presently inhibiting the Nigerian Port system. This is in line with business policy advocacy mandate of the Chamber of coordinating private-sector efforts for governance reform in the Nigerian maritime transport sector. The research shows that distortions in port operations is by no means limited to infrastructure inadequacies, or the moral misgivings of a few errant MDAs officials. Impediments occur at every level of Nigerian society involving both public and private sector actors. While the MDAs and their officials are most often associated with creating artificial barriers and demanding unofficial payments for personal gain, the private sector players are not without blame. Users of the ports and their agents represent the “supply side” of undocumented payments, often in the form of inducements,
conflicts of interest, illegal dealings and lack of knowledge of port processes (especially the Customs rules and regulations). Thus, the causes of barriers, disruptions at the Nigerian Ports and preventing or reducing such impediments – are largely the result of institutional, operational failures, legal and administrative gaps.

An examination of successful reforms across the world reveals the importance of an appropriate regulatory framework to support the transition process and ensure satisfactory levels of efficiency while upholding public interest.

This report was compiled by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the support of the Center for International Private Enterprise. Download to read more.