The Rivers state Ports and Borders offices of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) generated a service income of over N302 million in 2020, the Head, Ports and Borders, Mr Tajudeen Dosumu, has said.
Disclosing this while receiving the Director General of SON, Mallam Salem Farouk, who paid a visit to the office in Onne, Rivers, on Monday, Dosumu noted that though 2020 was punctuated by COVID and EndSars challenges, the office still generated the income which, however, represented a 24.5 per cent drop compared to 2019 figure of over N400 million.
He said that in spite of the challenges, the office remained open and was able to examine 39, 652 containers in 2020.
”In the last four years, the operation has recorded continuous increase in number of containers’ examination, compliance with SON import requirements and guidelines and service charge income,” he said.
Dosumu enumerated the achievements of the office to include, commencement and sustenance of 24-hour operation in FOT terminal and creation of an intelligence unit, for effective monitoring of consignment movements.
He also listed the needs of the office, calling for more effective control on container examination and compliance to SON clearing process in Ports operations using a computerized network.
He said that e-Demand Note and e-Receipting were also needed in the office, to eliminate interference, among other reasons, and staff training on Ports and Borders operations, for better service delivery.
Addressing the staff, the SON Director General said that he would facilitate the training of staff, who would in turn train others in the office, for enhanced service delivery.
Farouk noted the difficulty the organisation was encountering in assessing containers at the port, saying that management would continue working to ensure a better technology was provided for containers’ monitoring.
He decried the way SON staff struggled to carry out their jobs, adding, ”walking around the streets, behaving like thugs, stopping containers at their own peril, is not professional, it’s not ideal, it’s not right. We are authorised by law to have access to these containers.
”We are going to keep working on them (authorities) until either they provide better technology where by, in the comfort of our offices, we can see every container coming in and inspect them or they should be able for now, to let us do our job, which is protecting the Nigerian people and Nigeria.”
Farouk commended the staff of SON for their ingenuity in service delivery, describing them as smart, intelligent and efficient, urging them to always come up with ideas to make the organisation better.
The Director General, who said that he was in the state to interact with the staff, as well as inspect the ongoing SON building project, pledged to make a lot of structural changes in the organisation.
He said the changes had become necessary to uplift some departments that were not performing as expected.
Supreme reports that Farouk also paid a visit to the SON state office in Port Harcourt, interacted with the staff and promised them improved welfare.