A fortnight ago, clearing agents and freight forwarding personnel embarked on what they referred to as withdrawal of service from the nation’s flagship port, Lagos Port Complex over alleged inefficient service delivery and arbitrary terminal and shipping charges by the terminal operators and shipping agencies.
It took eleven working days for the imbroglio to be laid to rest even though it could not be fathomed how the difference was nipped in the bud.
It is however gladdening to hear that business activities have resumed in the port for ‘national interest’ as stated in some quarters.
Just last week, agents at the cargo handling section of the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) were said to have stoned the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Compt. Tajudeen Olanrewaju when he was trying to assert some measures that will help facilitate easy and fast cargo clearance from the port.
But some said the fracas emanated from the arbitrary charges by Customs officers and some officers being where they are not supposed to be. What the latter means, can only be explained by those concerned.
In all of this, the problem has always been the irregularities in the policy implementation of the government and its agencies, the inability of the government to tower policy over directives.
It is obvious that most of the government policies in the maritime sector are done with genuine intentions but the policy makers’ efforts are being jeopardised by overwhelming directives given by the executives saddled with the responsibility of seeing the policies to maturity.
These directives have so overshadowed the right principle of doing things so much that the wrong has overwhelmed the right thing.
It is also very obvious that if the right things are not done right at the moment, the future may hold a promise for worse scenario than we are presently seeing.
A maritime bigwig while speaking recently bemoaned the rate at which robust policies are discarded for directives which sometimes negate the economic interest of establishing trade or business.
It is however important to note that most of the directives given are at the level of the executives given the nod to oversee affairs in such agencies for personal gains and aggrandisement.
It is there advisable that when a policy is formulated; the government should do everything to make sure it works but policy without apparatus to work is tantamount to none