Reps Summon NNPC, DSS, Customs, CBN Chiefs

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The House of Representatives on Thursday summoned the Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kolo Kyari,  Director-General, Department of the State Security Service (DSS),Yusuf Bichi, the Governor of the  Central Bank of Nigeria,  Godwin Emefiele and the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Ali Hameed (rtd).

According to the lawmakers, they are to appear before the panel because they failed to attend an investigative hearing into the non -utilisation of Eastern and Southern ports.

The  decision was sequel to the public hearing by the a d hoc committee mearnt  to determine why the ports in Warri, Delta State, in Calabar, Cross River State, in Onitsha , Anambra State, and the one in Port Harcourt, as well as in Onne, Rivers State, are not meeting up with the expectations of stakeholders.

The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigeria Navy, Ministry of Transport, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Intel, amongst others are also expected to be part of the hearing.

They had  told the Hon Buba Yusuf Yakub-headed panel that insecurity through kidnapping, and piracy,  lack of infrastructure, lack interconnected road network, multiple charges from different agencies, lack of synergy amongst security agencies are responsible for port underutilisation across the country.

By implication this is responsible for the unabated gridlock àt the Apapa and Tincan ports in Lagos, they said.

However, the NNPC, CBN, NCS and DSS were missing amongst those invited prompting the panel to summon them as important stakeholders.

Yakub noted that one of the mandates of the panel is to come up with solutions aimed at making the Inland Port Complexes work at their maximum capacities and help to decongest the Lagos Port Complexes in order to give a new lease of life to everybody that has  reasons to visit Apapa and the areas around Tin Can Island in Lagos.

He expressed worries over the increasing loss of man-hours and the untold hardship, with its resultant loss of revenue, that business owners, commuters, shipping and haulage companies suffer in some parts of Lagos as a result of the hydra-headed monster called traffic gridlock arising from congestion in the two ports.

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