Shippers’ Council projects 90 % port digitalization Qt1 2021
By Eguono Odjegba
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, the Seaports Economic Regulator has expressed strong optimism on the attainment of 90percent digitalization of ports operations, as part of measures to enhance port friendly environment and boost cost efficiency.
NSC Executive Secretary/CEO, Mr. Hassan Bello who made the commitment recently during a chat with Vanguard Maritime Report noted that the ports digitalization process is currently at 60percent, further noting that the Council is determined to continue to drive the process for port modernization aimed at increasing efficient service delivery, friendlier business cost, improved revenue due to the federal government and the facilitation of legitimate trade.
Bello said Government through the Council has since begun the process of full digitalization and integration of the Nigerian seaports , a development , he said has improved the various ports stakes, services, businesses and operations, adding that there was a need to have paperless operations at the ports, to discourage human interaction and consequently reduce sharp practices and corruption.
Bello said plans are afoot to partner and fully involve the financial services sector in also achieving financial inclusiveness in the port industry as an essential support fundamental.
He explained that the federal government through relevant agencies will ensure that players and operators sit down to brainstorm on this in other to work out acceptable roadmap for the robust implementation of insurance in the freight and shipping industry, and as a guarantee against losses and risks.
In addition, Bello also advocated for a strong inclusive maritime financial support by commercial banks, as another ingredient required to retool the nation’s maritime and ports growth initiative aftermath of the corona virus global pandemic.
The shippers’ council helmsman said his agency and the other agencies in the maritime industry plan to meet soon with insurance companies and banks, including the National Insurance Commission, NICON, and Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, together with the freight operators to begin the process to deepen above initiative.
Buoyed by the Council’s unrelenting crusade to have a performing and friendly port system, he gave indication that the port terminals have already attained 80percent digitalization, while acknowledging that digitalization process is currently at 60percent.
Bello said the Apex Bank needed to intervene in the maritime industry because it is a sector that has the capacity to generate not less than N7 trillion, up from its current N1.9 trillion threshold.
He described the maritime sector as the engine room of economic growth, especially by virtue of the nation’s vast coastline and huge natural resources, adding that there was a need for concerted efforts by all concerned to leverage on its many deliverables.