The managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, has said the planned port community system (PCS) by the authority is geared towards harnessing the potential in the nation’s blue economy.
Bello-Koko disclosed this in London at the ongoing 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly.
Bello-Koko described the initiative as a game changer that will integrate all stakeholders within the maritime sector, promote national economy and support security of vessels, crew members and cargoes within the Nigerian maritime domain.
He also expressed optimism that Nigeria will achieve the port automation and necessary integration ahead of the IMO 2025 deadline set for member countries
The NPA MD who is on the entourage of the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, and permanent secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, added that the PCS will foster transparency, support ease of doing business and trade facilitation.
He explained some steps taken by the authority to set the PCS in motion ahead of the 2025 IMO deadline to include development of automation-based processes.
“In time past, before the introduction of e-SEN, (Electronic Ship Entry Notice), it took about two weeks from the time of application to the time of approval and issuance of the ship entry notice certification. However, since the introduction of electronic processing of ship entry notice, it takes about one hour for a function that used to take up to one or two weeks, depending on the idiosyncrasies of the man on the table and all the tables the documents need to pass through.”
He said the system will save cost of doing business and make the ports trade friendly by carrying out a function of two weeks in one hour and enhance faster ship turnaround time
He added that NPA collaborative efforts with the IMO to achieve a world class port community system is at an advanced stage and would soon migrate into implementation in line with global standards.
Bello-Koko added that while in London, the Honourable Minister will lead Nigeria’s delegation into a series of bilateral meetings with Ministers of Marine affairs of Greece, Mexico and Qatar to set the stage for improved Nigeria’s participation in global maritime trade.