Shippers Council visits concessionaires, preaches port automation …Insists Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business realisable
From left: Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, Director, Regulatory Services of the Council, Ms. Ifeoma Ezedinma and General Manager, Ports and Cargo Handling Services, Mr. Abayomi Obadare during the visit.
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Shippers Council NSC, Nigeria’s Port Economic Regulator, yesterday visited sea port terminal operators in Lagos, saying that full automation of port systems, especially cargo clearing processes remains the only way out of the delays experienced in the delivery of cargo with the attendant high cost on port users.
Recall that the Council had also recently embarked on a visit to various stakeholders in the transport industry, as part of its statutory mandate to address the anomalies and challenges facing key players in the industry.
Executive Secretary/ CEO of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, who led the executive management team of the council on a visit to Port &Cargo Handling Services, a member of the SIFAX Group, Five Star Logistics Limited and APM Terminals, Apapa, all in Lagos, told the terminal operators that global dynamics in port operations and the inherent competitiveness require efficiency and effectiveness, which can only be achieved through automation.
According to him, adoption of automation will improve cargo clearance, minimise the current gridlock being experienced in Apapa and reduce human traffic at the terminals.
Bello added that the Ease of Doing Business Executive Order is realisable when there is synergy among various players in the transport and logistics chain.
He emphasised the need for all terminal operators to register with the Council in addition to maintaining functional websites and proper records of daily transactions, which would help regulators and government in policy formulation.
The Executive Secretary reiterated that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as Port Economic Regulator is interested in ensuring international best practice, adding that if other countries could attain the minimum operating standards at the ports, Nigeria should strive to achieve it.
He said the Council is determined to embark on a periodic audit of all terminal operators both manually and electronically.
Responding, Abayomi Obadare, Wolfgang Schneider and Chris Ulliet, General Managers of SIFAX Port & Cargo Handling Services, Five Star Logistics and APM Terminals respectively expressed optimism that the visit by officials of the Ports Economic Regulator (NSC) had given them an assurance that their present operational challenges would soon become history.
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