The Study Of Maritime Fraud And It’s Effect On Competitiveness Of Nigerian Port (A Case Study Of Apapa Port)

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The Study Of Maritime Fraud And It’s Effect On Competitiveness Of Nigerian Port (A Case Study Of Apapa Port)


The research is a contribution to the ongoing discuss on maritime fraud and its effect on competitiveness of Nigerian port. Itbasically makes attempt to uncover questions surrounding the significance of Nigerian maritime security. In specific terms, it assesses the challenge that makes it improbable for an effective Nigerian maritime security. Beginning with the first aspect, the evaluation centred upon the major aspects involving Nigeria’s main source of revenue within the maritime domain that makes it necessary for such economic assets to be safeguarded.

The dissertation went further to have an in-depth analysis on some of the inherent domestic challenges ranging from Corruption, Ill Equipped Navy and Geography which constitute to undermining Nigeria’s efforts in curbing maritime fraud and insecurity. The research also examined the international dimensions to Nigerian maritime security first with its importance to the international trade and references to the role of AFRICOM and Weak international response from a wider international foreign policy perspective.

The conclusion is an analysis of the of the possibilities of Nigeria overcoming such challenges having analysed the importance, responses, factors responsible and foreseeable solutions though with uncertainties. It argues that the importance of Nigerian maritime security cannot be overemphasised with possible persistent challenges if a radical approach is not made. A variety of secondary sources like books, book chapters, journal articles, magazines, reports and images were used in this research.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

Despite the efforts of the government of Nigeria in fighting corruption in all sector, several unwholesome activities is still going on in the maritime sector most importantly by the shipping agencies and terminal operators, under the watchful eyes of government agencies, conniving to slam fictitious charges on importers and agents in what has been described in the maritime domain as a ceaseless economic rape.The product of this organized graft, which often runs into several billions of naira annually has continued to swell the volume of the capital flight the country suffers yearly.Following this scheme, used vehicles, clothing, food items and other goods are now cheaper to buy in Cotonou, Lome and Ghana markets, than when purchased in Nigeria (Thisday, 2015).

The sour side of is anomaly is that importers and clearing agents, in their battle to survive and grow in business, later pass the prohibitive charges to the consumers who now pay far more for the goods than necessary.

According to previous findings, the terminal operators, shipping lines and shipping agents have taken advantage of the largely unregulated maritime industry in Nigeria to hike charges like demurrage, and container deposit, among others, which are at variance with what obtains in neighboring West African ports.A full analysis of shipping charges conducted in three African countries – Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic by a maritime industry medium, “Shipping Position,” shows that port charges inNigerian remain the highest in the ECOWAS region.

Experts have, however, attributed the high charges to the unwholesome practices among shipping companies operating at Nigerian ports.Again while it takes few days to get the container deposit refund in other ports once the empty container is returned, it may take up to three months in Nigeria because the terminal operators allegedly delay receiving it in order to build up demurrage that may eat up the deposit.Other charges not collected in other countries but obtainable in Nigeria include MOWCA levy and stamp duty (Tancott, 2015).

Importers are also perplexed that contrary to what is obtainable in other West African countries’ ports, Nigeria only offers three days free of progressive storage charge while Benin, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire offer seven days free of progressive storage charges.Maritime experts have argued that the development was threatening the nation’s sea hub status as Cotonou, Lome and Accra ports are snatching cargoes from Nigeria.

It is feared that the partial cargo drought often experienced in the country, is attributable to this development as some shipping companies prefer to call at other West African ports where they enjoy huge incentives, especially reduced charges are largely the outcome of such practices (Tancott, 2015).The soaring frequency of smuggling is because some importers may not make profit after paying all charges at the ports.

Other stakeholders like the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service, Quarantine Service, Port Health and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) who are also part of the import chain also contribute to the delay in carrying out clearing duties and corruption at the nation’s ports. All these have made business very difficult and affected competiveness of the maritime sector in Nigeria.

Apapain Lagos State, Nigeria contains a number of ports and terminals operated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), including the major port of Lagos State and Lagos Port Complex (LPC).The region of Apapa lies near the mouth of Lagos lagoon, and contains ports and terminals for various commodities such as containers and bulk cargo, houses, offices and a small old disused railway station (Apapa North). It is the site of a major container terminal which was owned and operated by the Federal Government of Nigeria until March 2005, and now is operated by the Danish firm A. P. Moller-Maersk Group (Wikipedia, 2016).

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Ports play a key role in the Nigeria economy and development, as nearly 75% of the trade between the Nigeria and the rest of the world is handled in ports. Thus, the importance of ensuring efficiency in ports is related to the ability of the country to be competitive at international level.

Unfortunately corruption and extortion by the shipping agencies, terminal operators and the government officials has continued to frustrate importers leading to price hike of commodities, encouraged smuggling and the competiveness of Nigerian port as many importing prefer to patronize other ports in the neighboring West African countries. However, the researcher is examining the level of fraud in the maritime sector to ascertain its effect on competiveness of Nigerian port.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the level of maritime fraud in the Nigerian ports.
  2. To examine the effect of maritime fraud on the competiveness of Nigerian port.
  3. To identify how the maritime fraud can be combated.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the level of maritime fraud in the Nigerian ports?
  2. What is the effect of maritime fraud on the competiveness of Nigerian port?
  3. How can the maritime fraud can be combated?

1.5 Hypothesis

  • HO: There is no significant relationship between maritime fraud and competiveness of Nigeria Port
  • HA: There is significant relationship between maritime fraud and competiveness of Nigeria Port

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The following are the significance of this study:

The outcome of this study will enlighten the government of Nigeria and the general public on the spate of corruption going on in the maritime sector and how it affects the competiveness of the Nigeria port.

It will also educate on approaches to combat the menace of corruption in the maritime sector.

This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

This study will cover the level of fraud being carried out in the Nigerian maritime sector and how it affects the competitiveness of the Nigerian Ports.

1.8 Limitation Of Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9 Methodology

This work is an ample exploration undertaken based on a survey of evidences on the fundamental theme of this research. The first task was to review existing literatures that focuses on the importance and challenges mentioned in the aims of this dissertation. Consequently, it is a detailed analysis of specific motives on which Nigeria’s challenges must have been centred upon.

I also consulted the website of the Nigerian Navy and National Defence College (NDC) Nigeria, which hosts maritime researchers like Dr. Freedom Onuoha who has been a voice on International and local Maritime security issues.

The above sources were complimented with a few international and national dailies.Also, the use of yearly and quarterly reports of the World Bank, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House London), US Energy Information Administration and the National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria has substantiated on the diverse economic indexes and evidences on the significance and challenges to Nigerian maritime security.

In standpoints of making logic of these resources, I offered a detailed overview of the significance of Nigeria’s maritime security upon which it has become imperative for National security. Subsequently, I analysed the varying potential perspectives that constitutes a challenge towards an effective maritime security strategy in Nigeria under different segments.

The final consideration drew a conclusion which envisages the premise and exposition of the way forward and overcoming the aforementioned challenges for Nigeria considering her new role as the leading economy in Africa.

Chapter Five


Prospects of Security on Nigerian Maritime Domain

The overall evaluation of the importance of Nigerian maritime security depicts the challenges from two distinct perspectives i.e. domestic (the Nigerian perspective) and the global (international perspective).

The discussion trend suggests the initial assertion of Admiral Mahan on the strategic value of a place. Nigeria’s position and the resources of her coastline places much emphasis on the potentials of her marine environment. From the sea, imports stimulate economic activities, the diversity of goods and products into the local markets. But this is threatened by an ineffective defensive and offensive capability.

Nigeria enjoys huge gains from her marine exports, imports and offshore potentials, but these are being threatened continuously by security threats. The primary challenges as examined are corruption, an ill equipped Navy and the complex geographical terrain of the Niger Delta. All these factors highlight the dilemma of a littoral state in defending her national and international strategic interest.

It should be noted however that efforts are ongoing in addressing the logistical deficiencies of the navy, the setting up of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security (PICOMMS) to help meet the 2013 July deadline for compliance on International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, and NIMASA was mandated for its implementation which has attracted a pass mark for Nigeria by US authorities.

Despite these efforts by government, corruption still constitutes a major challenge to a good response especially the bureaucratic logjam in the maritime sector and worse still; the country lacks strong and effective maritime legislations from the National Assembly (Nigeria’s Legislature) to check unscrupulous and shady businesses in this sector.

In the light of the above, there is need for a robust political will and strategy centered upon the activities of Nigerian maritime sector. This will in no small measure, stimulate the economic activity of the local market, increase revenue generation for the country, create employment and income for thousands that reside in these coastal areas (as unemployment remains one of the major causes of restiveness and crimes in the region) and curb illegal immigration. With a well-organized maritime system which is the hub of the West African region put in place, Nigeria stands a chance of benefitting from managing an ‘import’ dominated economy to a country that enjoys a positive balance of payment with a strong domestic currency. It is also imperative to note that the 2015 general elections in Nigeria may determine the short and long term effects, given the magnitude of fraud that takes place prior to elections, all aimed at financing political interests along the shores of the country.

Finally, as Nigeria seeks to consolidate her influence as a regional hegemon, a “soft power” diplomatic regional approach is possible as exemplified in the coordinated response along Nigeria and Benin waters. It is expected that the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol will provide a reasonable platform. This response may also stir a harmonized and zealous response from the international community. With the intervention of the UNSC and international and regional responses (AFRICOM, CRIMGO and China), there are possibilities that an atmosphere might be created to adopt a unified structure that will serve as a buffer to Nigerian Maritime sector.

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