The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Mr. Hassan Bello were sat next to each other at the 3rd Maritime Stakeholders Forum last week, when the NSC boss stood up to lament lack of synergy among both agencies.
The Shippers’ Council boss complained that NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had proclivity to introduce charges without consulting the Council.
Although the Transport Minister, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi had said he wouldn’t want such disharmony under his ministry, this problem underscores the deterioration of 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 unhealthy competitors.
This myopic behavioural trend has robbed many African nations the gains of pertinent collaborations that would have fostered growth and Nigeria has found itself in such unpalatable state especially in the nation’s port sector as a result of this menace.
Laudable initiatives for the port sector such as Single Window, Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN), Maritime Security technology, among others have suffered as a result of this problem.
Amaechi may have to develop a workable formula that would allow transport agencies see themselves as complimentary organizations other than wrestlers in a WWE Winner Takes All battle.
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.
Today, collaboration among organizations, individuals and nations is considered sacrosanct and it has become very important in the world as a modern trend everywhere but Africa and Nigeria in particular.
When working on a project, organizations 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.