Insecurity, lack of automation, bane of 24- hr port operations at Nigerian ports—Russo.
“Besides GTbank, no other bank can do automatic payment of duties. So, after the banks close on Friday, people can’t make customs duty payments,” he explained.
“For us at PTML, we provide 24- hour service a day, but insecurity has discouraged other agencies involved in cargo clearance to work at night.
He however urged the government to address the insecurity and take action on the construction of the port access roads in order to have seamless port operations in the country.
“We are already working 24 -hour operations. We receive vessels all the time and are ready to deliver cargo even during the night but the challenge is insecurity.
“The same thing goes for Customs officers and we cannot blame them because the area we operate can be volatile and no one will want to stay out late at night because when they leave, they may be attacked by armed robbers or any other threat which may arise.
“We also have challenges with the banks about paying duties online. Another challenge we are having in our terminal at Mile 2 is the congestion on the road.
Russo said while the terminal and its parent company, Grimaldi Nigeria have adopted the use of technology to enhance its operation, some government agencies involved in cargo clearance are yet to key into full digitisation of their operations thus maintaining human contact at the port.
“From the arrival of the vessel to the delivery of the cargo basically our clients can do everything online. They don’t even need to come to the port. My dream is that one day, I will come to the office and I will not see all this crowd around the port.
“The reason why PTML has never experienced congestion is that we have the real solution, otherwise with the number of vehicles coming into this port terminal, there will be crazy congestion but because we have invested in digitisation and still investing there, we don’t have any congestion.”
Russo said the company has adopted the use of barges to receive export cargoes and move empty containers.
“Because of this off-dock terminal, we have been moving cargo in and out with our barges. We have been overwhelmed by requests from customers to work with us because they know that with our solution, the export cargo can access the terminal without any delay. This is why last year; we were the first carrier of export containers.”
Traffic gridlock returns to Apapa port as Federal government closes Total bridge for maintainance works
“Given the impact the closure will have on Port users, the Authority in partnership with LASTMA, Police, FRSC, and the Nigerian Navy have worked out alternative routes and are on the ground to manage the traffic situation in the affected areas.
“The Authority wishes to solicit the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders as we continue to support measures to mitigate the temporary disruptions, the NPA pleaded.
NIMASA collaborates with NCC to regulate submarine cable operation for enhanced navigational safety on Nigerian waters
The eyewitness reporter
Apparently alarmed by the indiscriminate laying of communication cables and pipelines underneath the Nigerian waters by telecommunications operators and other allied professionals which has the potential of harming the safe navigation of ships, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has engaged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a strategic discussion to forge a formidable synergy with other relevant stakeholders with a view to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria.
Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.
The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of Doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters.
“Our focus is to ensure the safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.
“NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.
“Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation, urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.
Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.
NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS.
NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.
Comptroller Nnadi mourns death of retired customs officer, DCG Sanusi
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