In a concerted effort to enhance efficiency and combat corruption within Nigeria’s maritime sector, the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and the Convention for Business Integrity (CBi) have called upon government agencies and industry stakeholders to embrace evidence-based compliance.
Speaking at the 4th compliance maritime sector roundtable, themed ‘A Maritime Sector Fit for Purpose: Evidence of Data-Driven Compliance,’ Vivek Menon, Associate Director of MACN, emphasized that fostering compliance through data-driven approaches can create a conducive operational environment. Such an environment not only reduces instances of corruption but also promotes fair competition, ultimately benefitting Nigeria’s maritime industry.
Menon highlighted how previous roundtables have played a pivotal role in identifying gaps and opportunities for government agencies to streamline their processes, leading to increased efficiency. “To reap the gains of progress in the Nigerian maritime sector, we must adopt an evidence-based approach to make informed decisions,” he stated.
Implementing evidence-based compliance among government agencies, as Menon emphasized, has the potential to enhance transparency, accountability, and traceability – all critical elements in achieving efficient port operations.
Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), praised the collaboration between her ministry, MACN, and CBi as a progressive movement within the maritime sector. She noted that there is no better time than now to leverage data-driven compliance to create a maritime sector that is truly fit for its purpose.
Ajani, who was represented by Babatunde Sule, a director at the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, emphasized that the ministry, through the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and other government agencies, has consistently supported, sustained, and institutionalized government-led reform policies aimed at improving compliance in the maritime domain.
Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), presented a paper titled, ‘Data-Informed Decision-Making for Sustainable Port Reform and Strengthened Compliance Arrangement.’ He underscored the significance of data in this era of rapid technological advancement, describing it as the lifeblood of progress and innovation.
Jime, represented by Moses Fadipe, the National Coordinator of the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), elaborated on how data-driven compliance empowers agencies to identify weak points, mitigate risks, and enhance overall operational efficiency. By harnessing data, the maritime sector can unlock valuable insights and make well-informed decisions that will drive sustainable port reform.
Soji Apampa, CEO of MACN, emphasized the pivotal role of the marine economy in Nigeria’s economic rebuilding. He highlighted efficiency as the most critical issue in port operations, emphasizing that even the most effective government regulations would fall short without an efficient operational framework.
“We are looking for a port system where the whole value chain is working efficiently, and for that to happen, we have to follow standard operating procedures,” Apampa concluded.
The call for evidence-based compliance in Nigeria’s maritime sector reflects a collective commitment to tackle corruption, enhance transparency, and drive operational efficiency, ultimately propelling the nation’s marine economy forward.
Efficiency within Nigeria’s seaports has long been a concern. Delays, inefficiencies, and corrupt practices have hindered not only economic growth but also the nation’s ability to participate effectively in international trade. The MACN and CBi’s call for evidence-based compliance is a significant step toward addressing these issues.
One of the key advantages of adopting a data-driven approach is the enhanced transparency it provides. By collecting and analyzing data on port operations, government agencies can better track the movement of goods and identify potential bottlenecks or areas where corruption may be occurring. This transparency not only deters corrupt practices but also instills confidence in both domestic and international businesses looking to engage with Nigerian ports.
Accountability is another crucial aspect of evidence-based compliance. When government agencies and industry stakeholders have access to comprehensive data, they can hold one another accountable for their actions and decisions. This accountability ensures that everyone involved in the port ecosystem is working toward the same goals of efficiency and fairness.
Traceability is yet another benefit of data-driven compliance. With a robust data infrastructure in place, it becomes easier to trace the movement of goods and identify any irregularities. This capability is essential for addressing issues such as smuggling and illegal trade, which can have a significant impact on the nation’s economy.
Furthermore, the adoption of evidence-based compliance aligns with global best practices. In an increasingly interconnected world, where international trade is vital for economic growth, Nigeria must position itself as a reliable and efficient trading partner. By adhering to data-driven compliance standards, the nation can improve its global reputation and attract more investment.
Magdalene Ajani’s recognition of the collaborative efforts between the government and organizations like MACN and CBi highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in driving meaningful change within the maritime sector. Such partnerships allow for the pooling of resources, expertise, and data to achieve common objectives.
Emmanuel Jime’s paper on data-informed decision-making underscores the transformative power of data in modern industries. In an era where technology and information are driving progress, harnessing data for decision-making is not just an option but a necessity.
Soji Apampa’s emphasis on efficiency in port operations is a reminder that, ultimately, the success of evidence-based compliance hinges on effective implementation. It’s not enough to collect data; it must be used to drive tangible improvements in the sector.