Shippers Council Targets 80% Automation By June
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) says it hopes to achieve 80 per cent automation of the entire seaport processes on or before the end of the first half of the year.
The nation’s seaport economic regulator also vowed to sanction terminal operators who fail to digitize all their operations before the end of 2021.
The Executive Secretary of the council, Barr. Hassan Bello, dropped these hints at an interaction session with maritime correspondents in Lagos.
Bello, who said the council recovered $14,000 bribery proceeds from officials saddled with the responsibility of boarding and inspection of ships whenever they arrive at the Nigerian seaports, noted that “human interface and poor automation accounts for the slow turnaround of cargo in the country.”
He said the digitalization of port activities would fast-track the release of containers from the port.
The executive secretary said in less than three months of implementation of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM) as lead coordinator, there has been sanity in boarding of vessels for inspection.
The Port Process Manual is expected to reduce corruption at the port, spell out the duty and responsibilities, as well as Standard Operating Procedure of all government agencies at the port in the cargo clearance process.
He said: “When they say that Nigerian ports are expensive, it is not in terms of the official money that you pay, it is the inefficiency that is the expense. Ships come to our ports and spend six hours without inspection, and when they are eventually inspected, officials demand for bribes.”
The council rated the automation level of some of the shipping companies in the first quarter as between 88 per cent and 63 per cent, describing it as a tremendous achievement.
In the rating, Grimaldi Shipping came first with 88% compliance, Ocean Network Express 75% and CMA CGM 60%.
On the terminal operators, he said PTML came first with 92% while BUA had 75%.