By Sabastine Mbah
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime has reiterated government’s commitment in making Nigeria’s ports maritime hub in West Africa.
Jime stated this at a media briefing to mark his one year in office as Shippers’ Council CEO.
According to him, the only way to achieve this is to ensure there is an improved level of efficiency and effectiveness in the service delivery in the ports, with the attendant multiply effect and that is exactly what the Shippers’ Council is determined to do since assumption office.
While highlighting the success recorded so far in the last one year, the Sippers’ Council boss applauded the Port Standing Task Team, PSTT, which focuses on the implementation of the Nigerian ports process in line with the provision of the concession agreement.
According to him,”the activities of the PSTT focuses on Joint Vessel Boarding, Joint Cargo Examination and Operation Free Port Access Roads”.
Between 2020 and 2021 the joint vessel boarding mandated by government agencies saved the Nigerian economy an average vessel demurrage of $20,000 per day amounting to $6,540,000(about #3, 270,000,000) but the PSTT has changed the narrative in the last one year.
The Executive Secretary also announced that the average time for resolving complaints with regards to vessel infractions has also considerably reduced from 7 to10 days in the past to from 1 to 4 hours, noting that more than 85% of vessels that called at the Nigeria ports in 2021 left without any incidents which was not the case in the past.
Jime commended the efforts of other agencies for jointly examining cargoes, an exercise that has helped to increase the number of cargoes examined per day, from 125 to an average of 230 boxes per terminal.
The Shippers’ Council boss disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) has been signed with the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) on Dala Inland Dry Port and they are closely working with NCS to inaugurate the implementation committee.
He said that Dala Inland Dry Port has attained 95 percent completion in preparation for the official commissioning and commencement of operations in July, 2022.
He however bemoaned the inability of Nigeria to fully harness the potential of the maritime sector despite accounting for about 95 percent in the carriage of the country’s international trade with a call for the Lekki Deep Seaport to be fully automated just like that of Dubai in United Arab Emirates.