By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, April 23, 2021 The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) are to implement joint measures to curb delay and corrupt practices at the ports.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in a statement by Mr Philip Kyanet, Head Corporate Communications, NIMASA, on Thursday in Lagos.
He said that the agencies noted that full automation of processes at the nation’s ports would go a long way to curb human interface, delays and corruption.
He said that they agreed to harmonise the implementation of Port and Flag State Administration to minimise direct human contact onboard vessels, calling at the nation’s ports in line with provisions in the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM).
Jamoh noted that the agency’s operation was close to 85 per cent automated, adding that NIMASA had undertaken an in house harmonisation exercise to reduce human interface.
He explained that NIMASA was now fully ready for inter-agency harmonisation and commended the NSC for the introduction of cargo tracking notes 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 and improve revenue generation,” he said.
On security at the anchorage, Jamoh said that there was marked reduction in security breaches since the Deep Blue project took over security working closely with the Nigerian Navy.
“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, Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, NSC, said that cost of port operations in Nigeria could be reduced by over 35 per cent when standard operation procedures contained in the NPPM 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,” he said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the NPPM on Dec. 9, 2020 in Abuja during the International Anti-Corruption Day.
It is a collection of processes taken from the Standard Operating Procedures of stakeholders in the port sector aimed at improving operations, service timelines, efficiency and accountability at the ports.