Cesspit of corruption!

That is what lawmakers at the House of Representatives say Nigerian Ports Authority and Inland Waterways have become.

And now, they have kicked off investigation into the alleged malpractices in the two federal institutions.

The investigative hearing began on Monday in Abuja by the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways.

The probe followed several motions calling for an investigation into malpractices in the maritime sector.

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, while speaking at the hearing, noted that the allegations raised were very weighty, with potential to seriously affect the economy.

He described as unacceptable, a situation whereby ports in other West African nations would deliver better and more efficient services than Nigerian ports.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics in March, Nigeria’s Ports dropped down the global ratings basically due to bad infrastructure.

“Interestingly, major competitors in the West African region, such as the Port of Lome in Togo, Port of Dakar in Senegal, and the Port of Cotonou in Benin Republic, all deliver better efficient services than the Nigerian Ports.

“This is really not acceptable,” said Dogara.

Some of the problems that have been identified as the reasons the Nigerian Ports are performing so poorly, he said, include bad infrastructure, high cost of doing business and low draught along waterways.

“It is our hope that the Legislative exercise being carried out through this committee will proffer lasting solutions to these problems,” he said.

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