Shippers’ Council Assures On Ports Automation

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The Executive Secre
tary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Mr Hassan Bello, said yesterday  that the council would ensure maximum automation of port operations to enable terminal operators improve on their services.
Bello stated this when he visited the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) office in Lagos with the management of the NSC.
He said that with automation, Nigerian ports would be the regional maritime hub and preferred cargo destination.
The executive secretary said that, “ Automation promotes efficiency, transparency and will stop all manual clearing procedures in the ports.’’
Bello said that this would enable the maritime industry to grow in order to sustain the Nigerian economy.
“The NSC with the support of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, has introduced Standard Operating Procedures so that investors will not encounter delay in discharge of cargoes.
“The council has also introduced a Port Service Portal where complaints in the ports is lodged and you get the feedback or way forward immediately.
He said, “we have a platform where we meet with the Nigeria Customs Service and discuss stakeholders’ complaints in order to provide solutions to enable government to achieve 48-hour cargo clearance target’’.
He commended the LCCI for continuous collaboration and being the voice of the private sector in Nigeria and for recognising NSC as the port regulator.
Bello said that the council would need more regulatory powers to operate, adding that the council would be more steadfast in its duties.
The executive secretary said that the council had sought collaboration with some anti-graft agencies to work along with the council to streamline ports operations.
He said that there was need for government to provide a conducive environment for terminal operators.
Bello said that if the terminal operators work effectively, they would reduce unemployment by engaging the youth.
In her remarks, the President of LCCI, Dr Nike Akande, stressed the need for tremendous collaboration between the chamber and the council to ensure the realisation of an enabling environment at the ports.
Akande said that there was need to make the ports investment friendly.
“We know that the present administration in Nigeria is committed to rapid economic diversification as well as reforms in the maritime sectors.
“The decline in crude oil prices has considerably changed our development focus for good.
“We are taking steps to reduce our reliance on oil.
“There is a lot of attention now being paid to manufacturing agriculture and agro-allied industries; solid minerals, entertainment, tourism and many other areas in the non-oil sector.