The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has unveiled an electronic Port Support Portal to improve efficiency by addressing the challenges faced by stakeholders.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of the NSC, Hassan Bello stated this yesterday while receiving members of the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in his office.
According to him, the online portal, which will receive and process stakeholders’ complaints within few minutes, will be launched next Thursday by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
“We’re going online, realtime in virtually all our operations. That’s what obtains in modern ports and Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind. We’re competing with other ports worldwide. We must ask ourselves what makes importers in Nigeria to prefer diverting their cargoes to Cotonou, Lome and Ghana? What makes Niger Republic prefer doing their transhipment through Cote’D’Ivoire that’s faraway instead of Nigeria that is their close-door neighbour? Some of these reasons have to do with efficiency and cost. It also has to do with corruption and undue human interferences. That is exactly what the portal seeks to address. It seeks to remove those bottlenecks that impede port clearance procedures. When there’s delay and demurrage is incurred, the importers and agents pass them to the consumers and things will always be higher when purchased in our country. Again, we need to listen to the terminal operators too. They’re operating in a harsh environment. We need to streamline these operations. Customs, UNDP, ICPC, NIMASA and other agencies will be hooked unto this portal.
“If we receive any complaint from a stakeholder, we’ll go to such an agency to sort the issue out. We need to make Nigeria a real hub. Inflation is unprecendeted. Port processes are primitive”, this can’t continue”, Bello stated.
The NSC boss urged maritime journalists to come up with constructive criticisms and indepth analysis of the maritime sector to ensure it grows and contibutes highly to the national economy.