Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

FG merges operations of agencies at airports, seaports

The Federal Government has directed all relevant ministries, departments and agencies operating at the nation’s airports and seaports to harmonise their operations into a single interface station.

While those at the airports have 30 days to merge, those operating at seaports must do so within 60 days.

This is one of the highlights of an ‘Executive Order on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment’ signed by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday.

By the order, the Apapa Port is expected to resume 24-hour operations within 30 days.

The order read, “All relevant MDAs at the airports shall within 30 days of the issuance of this order merge their respective departure and arrival interfaces into a single customer interface, without prejudice to necessary back-end procedures.

“All agencies currently physically present in Nigerian ports shall within 60 days harmonise their operations into one single interface station domiciled in one location in the port and implemented by a single joint task force at all times, without prejudice to necessary backend procedures.

“The new single interface station at each port shall capture, track and record information on all goods arriving and departing from Nigeria, and remit captured information to the head of the MDA and the head of the National Bureau of Statistics on a weekly basis.

“Each port in Nigeria shall assign an existing export terminal to be dedicated to the exportation of agriculture produce within 30 days of the issuance of this order.

“The Apapa Port shall resume 24-hour operations within 30 days of the issuance of this order.”

The order also outlawed touting and bribe-taking by official or unofficial persons at any port in Nigeria.

Any official caught soliciting or receiving bribes from passengers or other port users, according to the order, shall be subject to immediate removal from post and disciplinary as well as criminal proceedings in line with extant laws and regulations.

The Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission is also expected to within 14 days of the issuance of the order ensure that all registration processes at the CAC are fully automated through the agency’s website from the start of an application process to completion, including ensuring the availability of an online payment platform where necessary.

According to the Executive Order on Budgets, all agencies, whether listed or not listed in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, shall, on or before the end of May every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning their schedule of revenue and expenditure estimates for the next three financial years.

They are also expected to, on or before the end of July every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the two ministers their annual budget estimates, which shall be derived from the estimates of revenue and expenditure as projected in their three-year schedule.

It stated, “A joint committee of the ministries of Finance, and the Budget and National Planning shall review such estimates and ensure their conformity with the national plan and the financial and budgetary regulations before processing them for approval and early transmission to the National Assembly.

“Supervising ministers and heads of agencies as well as the chief executive officers of government-owned companies shall verify that the processes of preparation, harmonisation and collation of budget estimates are as stipulated in relevant laws and guidelines as well as ensure strict compliance with this Executive Order.

“Except with the express consent of the President, no payment shall be made in respect of any capital or recurrent liability of an agency, other than payment of due salaries and allowances, unless the agency has an approved budget and the payment is in conformity with the approval.

“Heads of agencies and chief executive officers of government-owned companies shall take personal responsibility and be subject to appropriate sanctions for any failure to comply with this Order.

“Any revenue or other funds of an agency in excess of the amounts budgeted and duly expended shall accrue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.”

According to the third Executive Order, which is on support for local content in public procurement by the Federal Government, all MDAs have been directed to grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in their procurement of goods and services.

The order stipulates that any document issued by any MDA for the solicitation of offers, bids, proposals or quotations for the supply or provision of goods and services shall expressly indicate the preference to be granted to domestic manufacturers, contractors and service providers, and the information required to establish the eligibility of a bid for such preference.

The order read, “All solicitation documents shall require bidders or potential manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and consultants to provide a verifiable statement on the local content of the goods or services to be provided

“Made-in-Nigeria products shall be given preference in the procurement of the following items and at least 40 per cent of the procurement expenditure on these items in all MDAs of the FGN shall be locally manufactured goods or local service providers: a. Uniforms and footwear; b. Food and beverages; c. Furniture and fittings; d. Stationery; e. Motor vehicles; f. Pharmaceuticals; g. Construction materials; and Information and Communication Technology.”

The order requires that within 90 days, the heads of all MDAs shall assess the monitoring, enforcement, implementation and compliance with the Executive Order and local content stipulations in the Public Procurement Act, or any other relevant Act within their agencies; propose policies to ensure that the Federal Government’s procurement of goods and services maximises the use of goods manufactured locally and services provided by Nigerian citizens doing business as sole proprietors, firms, or companies held wholly by them or in the majority; and submit such findings to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.