In third world countries especially in Africa, one of the major challenges to growth is that rather than work together to share ideas and technology for the good of the nation, most organizations as well as individuals choose to see themselves as competitors.
Today, collaboration in the workplace is considered sacrosanct and it has become very important in the world as a modern trend everywhere but Africa and Nigeria in particular.
This myopic behavioural trend has robbed many African nations the gains of such pertinent collaboration and Nigeria has found itself in such unpalatable state especially in the nation’s port sector.
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had its feud with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) over removal of wrecks and boundaries on the nation’s waters. Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has its fair share of battle with the Quarantine Service, Nigerian Police and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA); Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has contended severally with the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) but the most recent rip-off between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) leaves a lot to be desired especially on the crucial ongoing amendment of the concession agreement of terminal operators in the port sector.
Most of the problems plaguing the concession exercise today exist because the process which led to the concession of the ports initially weren’t made open and the port users didn’t make input.
While Shippers Council has said that its exclusion from the planned review of the port concession exercise will deny the country needed technical input that would correct the mistakes of the past, it appears that several port stakeholders are appalled at the move by NPA to start the review exercise without the Council.
Speaking to MMS Plus newspaper on this issue, a terminal operator at Calabar port has called on NSC and NPA to develop inter-agency relationship and work together for the benefit of the maritime industry.
The source who preferred anonymity stated that the unfortunate trend meant that Shippers’ Council role as port economic regulator wasn’t recognized by NPA.
“Beyond the review of the port concession which should have Shippers’ Council’s input as port economic regulator, this goes to show that there is no relationship between both agencies of government and the industry would suffer for this” he added.
When working on a project, an organization fare better when the needs of other stakeholders are captured as they make input in the procedures.
By collaborating with different departments or even different offices, skills can be pooled to make the project more successful than it might otherwise be. Organizations within a community or sector achieve more when they collaborate with other agencies as they pull resources to achieve the same goal.
Research shows that developed nations have learnt to attract more investments by getting its critical agencies to collaborate rather than compete in matters of national interest.