As part of its human capacity building, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mallam Habib Abdullahi trained 3, 091 personnel out of the 4, 245 personnel representing 90 percent of the total workforce in 2013 even as the authority launched an Electronic Ship Entry Notice (e-SEN), last week.
At the official launching of the e-SEN in Lagos, the Managing Director said the present administration of the authority for the first time undertook a massive training plan both local and foreign that cut across every cadre of the workforce.
He said, “This administration for the first time undertook a massive training plan both local and foreign that cut across every cadre of the workforce. In 2013 alone management trained 3,091 personnel out of the total work force of 4,245. This figure represents 90% of total workforce.”
Enumerating some of the achievements of the authority, the Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi said that the present management in the area of marine and operations, the management has been able to deliver an efficient port service in a safe, secure and customer friendly environment, in accordance with the international best practices.
In his words, “In this area our efforts are anchored on the need to deliver an efficient port service in a safe, secure and customer friendly environment, in accordance with the international best practices.
To achieve this, management has continued to pay attention to first and foremost, improving existing port infrastructures in the areas of rehabilitation of port quay walls and aprons, deepening of our channels, upgrading of our common user facilities and wreck removal from our channels.
“As you are all aware, the biggest vessel to call at any port in West Africa (WAFMAX) with a length overall 232.33 metres and capacity of 4,500 TEUS requiring draught of 13.5 Meters has started visiting our ports due to our consistent dredging campaign. The weekly call of the WAFMAX vessel to Lagos and Onne port is a great achievement.
Generally, stakeholders and shipping companies have confirmed that the channel management and conservancy function of the Authority has continued to improve.
Analysis has confirmed that most of the ports recorded increase in the Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) of vessels mainly due to the capital and maintenance dredging of the channel by our Joint Venture (JV) Companies, namely the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) Company, for the management of the Lagos channel and the Bonny Channel management (BCC) Company for the management of the Bonny channel.
These strategic developments have reflected in increasing cargo throughput to 77 Million metric tons in 2013 from 44,953,073 MT in 2005 excluding crude oil and gas.”
Speaking further, he outlined the achievements in the area of port infrastructural development which includes; rehabilitation of works adding that they have concluded that East and West moles and upgrading and renovation of common user facilities.
“Worth mentioning here is the completion of phase 4 and approval received for the commencement of the development of port facilities phase 4B at Onne Port Complex,” he said.
In the area of capital projects, he said the management has achieved the following giant strides: Completion of the construction of 1.6km road at LPC, Completion of reconstruction of terminals B &C at old Warri Port, Completion of the rehabilitation of rail track at LPC, Continuation of the rehabilitation of TCIP quay wall and quay apron and third party projects which includes: Initiation and completion of Island Berth on Lagos Channel by Oando and Completion of Eko Support Services at Bullnose, Apapa
To further encourage private participation in port development, technical approvals were granted to Digisteel Ltd and MRS Oil & Gas to expand their services at Ogogoro and TCIP respectively.
He also stated that approval has been granted to Niger Dock for development of additional berth to its existing one at Snake Island as well as processing a number of applications from prospective investors.
H e added that already applications from PTML and GDNL have been processed and recommended for requisite approval.
However, the new e-SEN is intended to ease business transaction in the port and to reduce human interface which can lead to corruption in the port even as added that the manual system was fraught with challenges.
“Today in our resolve to continue to deliver efficient port services according to our mandate as an Authority, we have taken a giant stride to introduce another major initiative that will further drive with great speed the wheel of shipping in our ports. This is the Electronic Ship Entry Notice (e-SEN).
“The Ship Entry Notice (SEN) process hitherto was done manually. Stakeholders purchased booklets of application forms, filled a leaflet and submit manually to the designated SEN offices located in either the Western Ports or Eastern Ports Head offices depending on the port of call.
“This manual process is fraught with challenges, such as, duplication of requests, slow response to requests due to delayed verification and validation of ship data. Important to note also, is the feedback from stakeholders revealing the inconvenience faced in traveling back and forth between designated SEN offices to pick up their SEN certificates and ports of discharge, loss of manpower hours in business and the risk involved in commuting.