News Ports

Port operations to be fully automated by 2023, as NPA unbundling ‘ETO’ – The Sun Nigeria


 

By Steve Agbota

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that it will ensure that the nation’s port system would be fully automated by the end of year 2023.

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The Authority has also concluded plans to unbundle the Electronic Call-Up system for trucks, thereby encouraging competition for the effectiveness of traffic control in and out of the port.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko disclosed this in an interview recently, said the automated system will create a platform where all port-related government agencies will merge together through the Single Window.

According to him, although the agency has started automating some of its processes, there is a need to have full automation of all processes at the nation’s ports.

He added that the agency has consulted the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regarding the deployment of the Port Community System, which is an Information Technology solution that will accommodate the sharing of information among other government agencies and stakeholders.

He hinted that consultants from the IMO are presently in Nigeria, visiting the offices of relevant government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and other stakeholders of the Port on how to develop the Single Window.

“We have begun full automation of all our processes. We currently have the Oracle E-Business solutions where we have the Oracle Financial, Oracle Hyparium and Oracle Budgeting. But there is a need for us to automate all other processes, so we got the IMO to consult with the NPA towards the deployment of what we call the Port Community System,” he said.

He disclosed that the Port Community System is not an IT solution that will do away with E-Customs or other IT platforms that other stakeholders have but it is supposed to be a platform where everyone can plug in.

“The IMO has come in with a regulation and requirements for all Port to automate fully by 2025. We have set up a target for ourselves for 2023 and the IMO is funding some of these. The first phase was done virtually and it has been concluded

“This week, the IMO consultant visited Nigeria and they are currently in Lagos where they are carrying out an on-a-spot assessment which will take 10 days after which they will go and come back again and the final part will be funded by the Nigerian Port Authority,” he explained.

On the Electronic Call-Up system for trucks, he said that the agency has decided to unbundle the system, thereby encouraging competition for the effectiveness of traffic control in and out of the port.

He also noted that the electronic call up would be extended to the Onne ports and others where there is high traffic of port activities.

“The truck call-up system was deployed to automate the manual manifest system of trucks and we believe that it has improved traffic flow and reduced gridlock, especially around the Apapa area”.

“But we believe there is also a need to introduce competition because competition brings efficiency. Stakeholders have been pushing for the unbundling of the truck call up system. We are working on that and we will see how that goes. We believe it is time to do that so we can also extend it to other ports. Onne Port is becoming extremely busy and we think we need to deploy the electronic call-up system there also,” he said.

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