Harmonisation of standard operating procedures critical to 24-hour activities at Seaports, says Hassan Bello, NSC boss

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, has emphasized the need to harmonize and streamline Standard Operating Procedure at the nation’s Seaports.

  Speaking at a one day town hall meeting on 24-hour operations at Seaports orgainsed by Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in Lagos on Tuesday, Bello explained that Standard Operating Procedure should also be integrated with Nigerian integrated custom information system in order to save time, cost and enhance competitiveness of Nigerian Seaports.

  He advised the Federal Ministry of Transportation and that of Power, Work and Housing to expedite action in fixing the deplorable roads leading to the ports, integrate the rail leading to the port for multi-model connectivity in order to ease the movement of cargo in and out of the port.

  He said for the presidential order on 24 hours port operations to be achieved, the port economic regulator should be allowed to act independently from any market interest.

  The NSC boss who was represented by Mrs. Juliana Saka, Principal Operations Officer, Commercial Shipping Department of the Council explained that the challenges of faulty scanners in the port should be addressed urgently and that service providers should provide a back up in the event of system failure.

  Explaining further, he said: “There should be sustained enlightenment of freight forwarders and consignees on the need to make proper declarations as well as early processing of the documents before the arrival of vessels.

  “Government needs to launch a common portal for all its agencies in the port to complete all import or export procedures with single input transmission at a single site.

  He said: “Government should equip the port with high tech-equipment and modern infrastructure in order for containers to be scanned during the discharge process. The Nigerian Shippers Council is presently championing the establishment of the Inland Container Depots.