By DAPO OLAWUNI
President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Tony Iju Nwabunike has lamented that seventy percent of Nigerian port users cannot transact businesses online and process their clearance documents, saying that this is why there is always crowd at the port.
Nwabunike said the association is pushing to ensure that knowledge of ICT becomes a curriculum and basic training for anyone wishing to use ports and other maritime services.
He advised that rather than worry over likelihood of job loss at this period of COVID-19, customs brokers, freight forwarders, truck owners, chandlers and other ancillary service providers in the industry should gravitate towards keeping themselves abreast with virtual presence and operations in the ports.
“At ANLCA we have always advocated for a modern port regime with lesser amount of persons coming into port areas. This will now be a fast track drive because persons and businesses can meet virtually, submit,process and receive documents online without leaving the comforts of our homes and offices”
“While the port cannot be virtual, our presence can be. We have been partaking in Webinars where we communicate effectively, take business and corporate decisions without traveling”
“This is the new curriculum we are recommending as a basic training content for everyone wishing to use ports and other maritime services moving forward”
“ANLCA independent research shows that over seventy percent of persons using our ports are yet to understand these things which they need for their professional future and business survival”
“Over eighty percent of them do not even know the many unused business tools to advance their trade embedded inside the mobile phones they carry about”
“Unknown to them, they can set up virtual meetings to discuss all business related issues and perfect related bank transactions without moving around the cities bugged down by snail speed traffic”
“The haulage section will always be there. It cannot be taken over virtually, we only foresee a regime of improved rail service” he said