Adesina Flays Extortions At Nigerian Seaports

By Moses Ebosele, ebosele@hotmail.com

The President of Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has advised the Federal Government to clean up what he described as administrative bottlenecks at the nation’s seaports.

 Speaking on Monday in Abuja at the Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat, Adesina challenged Nigeria to  rapidly modernize and transform its ports, “Ports are not there for revenue generation.“

 Explaining further at the event attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and other top government officials, Adesina said: “Your Excellency, we should not be decongesting the ports in Nigeria, we should be transforming the ports. 

 “This must start with cleaning up administrative bottlenecks, most of which are unnecessary with multiple government agencies at the ports, high transaction costs or even plain extortions from illegal taxes, which do not go into the coffers of the government. 

 “Nigeria should rapidly modernize and transform its ports. Ports are not there for revenue generation. They are for facilitating business and exports and stimulating industrial manufacturing, and competitiveness of local businesses and exports“, Adesina added.

 Adesina who spoke on sundry issues advised the Federal Government to boost food security, “reduce the price of food and ensure greater competitiveness of the agricultural sector. 

 “While I was Minister of Agriculture, we deployed a highly innovative mobile phone system to reach farmers with subsidized farm inputs, a program called ‘Growth Enhancement Scheme’ and the e-wallet system.

 “To be clear, this was the first time in the world that such a system was deployed to reach farmers with subsidized farm inputs via mobile phones.“

Declaring the event open, President Buhari explained that the Midterm Ministerial review is aimed that reviewing each minister’s program, identifying key impediments to implantation and re-strategizing on how to accelerate delivery of results given the country’s economic situation.

Buhari urged ministers to work closely with permanent secretaries to ensure accelerated and effective delivery of the programs and projects in their respective primary areas of focus. 

He also disclosed that the Secretary to the Government has been directed to consolidate efforts at strengthening the work of the delivery unit, in a bid to attain effective implementation of government policies and plans within the remaining period of the administration.