Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko has assured that the agency is ready to deploy the Port Community System PCS, which stakeholders say would be a game changer in the bid to attain port efficiency and regional competitiveness.
He also called for the alignment of the NPA and the Nigeria Customs Service operations with a view to achieving the desired level of efficiency at the ports.
Addressing the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola CON, at the maiden edition of the Stakeholders’ Round Table Engagement on Advancing Sustainable Development in Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy, organised by the ministry in Lagos, Tuesday, Bello-Koko told the minister the PCS being worked out in conjunction with the International Maritime Organisation IMO provides a groundwork for the country to achieve a National Single Window System
In a post on his verified X handle, the NPA-boss insists everything about port operations in about time and space, especially in terms of maintaining shorter transit times for vessels and cargo.
He argued that the coming on stream of the Lekki Deep Seaport, the country’s first fully automated port that encouraged the Federal Executive Council FEC, to approve the establishment of Badagry and Ondo Deep Seaports as well as Snake Island (Lagos) and Burutu (Delta) Ports.
According to him, the operationalisation of these new ports puts the country at the forefront of regional competitiveness and trade facilitation, but however observed that there was need to align the operations of the NPA with those of the Customs in order to achieve the desired results.
The MD insists that it was in the light of this that the NPA had in the past introduced electronic platforms such as the ESEN, which processes berthing approvals for vessels that call at the seaports online real time before their arrival, E-Call-up for trucks that evacuate cargo in and out of the ports, which helped to eliminate the erstwhile dreaded Apapa gridlock as well as the RIMS, which is an electronic payment platform that enable shipping lines to pay electronically, which has drastically reduced their waiting time and a fully interactive website.
Bello-Koko said: “Essentially, port operations are about time and space; this explains the increasing need for ports to maintain shorter transit times.
During the stakeholders’ roundabout on advancing sustainable development in Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy, Tuesday, with the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, HE, Adegboyega Oyetola, I emphasised the authority’s readiness to deploy the Port Community System PCS.
“The PCS is a marine-specific system that eases information exchange between all parties, which is germane to our port’s competitiveness as it lays the groundwork for the National Single Window. The PCS will eliminate duplication of functions in the port ecosystem.
“This is in addition to other time-saving initiatives we have put in place, such as the ESEN, E-Call-up, RIMS, and a fully interactive website.
“The commencement of Nigeria’s first fully automated port at take-off, the Lekki Deep Seaport, also laid the groundwork for the recent Federal Executive Council FEC approval of Badagry and Ondo Deep Sea Ports, and Snake Island (Lagos) and Burutu (Delta) Ports. The operationalisation of these new ports puts us at the forefront of regional competitiveness.
“However, to achieve the desired result, there has to be an alignment of purposes between Customs focus on revenue generation and the NPA’s obligation to push the frontiers of trade facilitation.”