Nigerian Ports Now 70% Digitalised – NSC

The Nigeria Shippers council (NSC), says the nation’s seaports has attained 70 per cent digitalisation.
The Executive Secretary of the council,  Mr Hassan Bello, who disclosed this at a press briefing held in Lagos, last Friday, however, said that the percentage was lower than 90 per cent targeted in the first quarter of 2021.
Bello stressed that digitalisation would promote cleanliness in the port environment and as well tackle illegal trading activities that degrade the environment.
The Executive Secretary said that the port was not a place for contact, as one could move millions of tons of cargo with a computer.
Bello noted that a non-contact port was the solution to many problems plaguing the system such as delay which caused demurrage, diversion of money, corruption and revenue leakages.
He said that digitalisation would make the ports more competitive, noting that the country had competitors in West and Central Africa sub-regions.
According to him, “Some people don’t even have any business to go to the port but you see them there, what are they doing?
“The council targeted 90 per cent digitalisation in the first quarter of the year, unfortunately, did not achieve it although it was still pursuing it in earnest.
“We have been working with shipping companies and terminal operators to ensure we make the deadline we set for the first quarter but we saw it was not feasible to attain 90 per cent digitalisation.
“Most of the ports in the world are digitalised, Nigeria cannot be an exception. We cannot have a multitude of people going into the ports every day, human contact in the ports is very dangerous, it is anti-efficiency and once there is human contact, there will be corruption and then delay.
“What we were able to do on the average was 70 per cent, but digitalisation of the ports is a process in the making. We want this to happen as quickly as possible,” he said.
Bello said that it was not easy to attain the 70 per cent port digitalisation, adding that they had the scorecards of every terminal and shipping companies that led to the tremendous improvement.
Speaking on the level of digitalisation of shipping companies, Bello said that Grimaldi had 88 per cent, Ocean Network Express 76 per cent, and CMA CGM 63 per cent, among others.
For seaport terminals, Bello said PTML had 92 per cent, while in Port Harcourt, Intels, BUA and Wact had 70 per cent digitalisation each.
“Where we are having problems is on reforms and claims processes which is mostly manual but we have some that scored 50 per cent.

“Also, the second phase is the integration of systems because anybody can have online but there is a need to integrate with the banks for example and even the Nigeria Customs Services, “ he said.
“We are going to clear the whole port environment, we are going to work with the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Ports and Offences Act will be cited to clear the place.
“You cannot go and be selling food or diesel at the corridors of the port because some of these trucks stop requesting for them and a five minute stop will cause a lot of problem, so we cannot afford to have such”, he said.


By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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