…Harmonise rates, operations
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) have agreed to implement joint measures to minimise delay and corrupt practices at the country’s ports. This emerged in Lagos during a working visit to the NIMASA headquarters by the Executive Secretary of NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello.
Both agencies of the Federal Government noted that full automation of processes at the nation’s ports would go a long way to curb human interface, delays and corruption at the ports. NIMASA and the Nigerian Shippers Council thus agreed to harmonise the implementation of Port and Flag State Administration to minimise human direct contact onboard vessels, calling at the nation’s ports in line with provisions in the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM).
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, noted the Agency’s operation was close to 85% automated, adding that NIMASA has undertaken an in house harmonisation exercise to reduce human interface and now fully ready for inter-agency harmonisation. He also commended the management of the Shippers Council for its commitment to ensuring the success of the introduction of cargo tracking note in port operations.
“We thank you for obtaining approval for the cargo tracking note. This will reduce loss of man-hour and assist in exposing non-declaration or under declaration at the nation’s ports. Thus, improving revenue generation for the federal government,” he said.
Commenting on the Secure Anchorage Area, Dr. Jamoh noted that since the Deep Blue project took over security working closely with the Nigerian Navy, the nation has witnessed a reduction in the number of security breaches at the anchorage.
“We are beginning to record a reduction in attacks in our waters, and we hope to sustain this and later demand a change in status of cost of insurance of vessels visiting Nigerian waters.
On his part, Barrister Hassan Bello said that cost of port operations in Nigeria could be reduced by over 35% when standard operation procedures contained in the Nigerian Port Process Manual were fully implemented.
“Our Ports are in competition with other ports in the region, so we need to strengthen collaboration on the establishment of indicative freight rates,” the NSC Executive Secretary said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the manual on December 9 last year in Abuja, during the 2020 International Anti-Corruption Day. It is a collection of processes taken from the Standard Operating Procedures of stakeholders in the port sector, and it aims to improve operations, service timelines, efficiency, and accountability at the ports.