SHAME: 18-Years After Port Concession, NPA, Terminal Operators, Shipping Companies Still Operating Manual Port Processes

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Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko

…ANLCA Sets for Showdown, Gives PTML Terminal Clean Bill of Health

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Eighteen years after the Federal Government concessioned Nigerian port terminals to private operators in 2005, clearing agents under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has expressed frustrations about manual processes being operated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) shipping companies and terminal operators in issuance of authority card to port users.

ANLCA Vice president, Prince Segun Oduntan

Vice President of ANLCA, Prince Segun Oduntan in a chat with journalists in Lagos on Thursday said the association is set for show down with the NPA, shipping companies and terminal operators as from second quater of year 2024 if they refuse to go digital.

According to the ANLCA number two man, 18 years after the port reform exercise, shipping companies and terminal operators have refused to invest in Nigerian port system.

“At this age and time that the world is talking about digitalisation and information technology at the port, we are still filing authority card with terminal operators and shipping companies manually, meanwhile everything is supposed to be done online and seamlessly.

“For me to operate with SIFAX terminal or TICT, I must have an authority letter with photographs of my staff, they would take it to the company and they approve after giving them some stipends.
We are supposed to be operating a paperless port at this time, but we are still doing manual authority to them.

“In my office, authority to shipping company and terminal can be 200 pages, we would attach photograph, signature and take it to them every year.
This is what has been playing out at Nigerian Ports because the terminal operators don’t want to invest into the system” he said

Prince Oduntan however gave one of terminal operators; PTML Terminal and Grimaldi Shipping a clean bill of health as the only one that is automated.

“I can release by cargo from PTML Terminal, right from my office, PTML Terminal and Grimaldi Terminal has since been automated.

“When you go to a port in Ghana, you don’t even need to be at the port when your truck is going to take your goods, the drivers association are already on biometric access to the port. Once you send your TDO to them, they have their authority, they just go to the port and access the port to pick cargoes, you can only monitor them from your system.

“Even the NPA is still doing yearly registration for port pass and licenses, these are things that should be done online, every year, they collect money from us, all they do is to collect money from us.

“The Nigerian Shippers Council are saying they also want to start registering us now, and they promised to automate their own.

“As from next quater of the year, we shall take the fight up with them, let them go digital.

“The amount we pay for registering the manual authority is frustrating and expensive, if we have it like the bank BVN, or NIN it would cover all our staff” he said

Speaking in the same vein, Special Assistant to the ANLCA President on media, Alhaji Ayokunle Sulaiman said shipping companies in Nigeria are treating clearing agents as slaves in their father land.

“If you visit the shipping companies in Nigeria, you would see people collapsing, the environment is too crowded, a space that should contain 30 persons, you will see up to 60 persons there sweating.

“But at Grimaldi Terminal, because of the automation they have done, you have less physical contact” he said

2 thoughts on “SHAME: 18-Years After Port Concession, NPA, Terminal Operators, Shipping Companies Still Operating Manual Port Processes

  1. ANCLA members need to be more professional in their operations.
    My observations during working with some shipping companies was that some Clearing Agents didn’t have functional e mail account .
    Digitalisation should involve all the stakeholders.
    The Shipping lines and port terminals operators are leading in terms of Digitalisation of process.
    The agent only needs to visit the office of shipping lines for surrendering of Original billof lading in exchange for Delivery Orders.

  2. ANCLA members need to be more professional in their operations.
    My observations during working with some shipping companies was that some Clearing Agents didn’t have functional e mail account .
    Digitalisation should involve all the stakeholders.
    The Shipping lines and port terminals operators are leading in terms of Digitalisation of process.
    The agent only needs to visit the office of shipping lines for surrendering of Original billof lading in exchange for Delivery Orders.

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