By Innocent Orok
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has commenced total digital manifest management regime for all vessels calling at all Nigerian Ports. The Physical transactions concerning Sailing Certificates and cargo manifest processing are being phased out completely as stakeholders are encouraged to fully embrace the agency’s initiative by visiting the NIMASA portal.
The Director General of the agency Dr. Bashir Jamoh said that the automation is aimed at further reducing human interaction, improve efficiency and block revenue leakages.
According to Jamoh, “In line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business, we are committed to improving turnaround time of vessels, reduction of human interface in majority of our transactions with our stakeholders and this is in our bid to ensure transparency and professionalism that the sector require to grow.
“We have improved our operational relationship with our sister agencies, as we speak, we have made tremendous progress in our determination to convey sailing clearance for vessels to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) electronically. We also receive and process manifests electronically”. This has improved efficiency leading to improvement in the turn-around-time of vessels calling at the nation’s Ports. Jamoh said.
“Right now we have ensured that the process of submitting and processing manifests is reduced from 72hours to 5hours for VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers) and larger container vessels. Whereas it would only take two hours or less for smaller vessels), you would agree with me that these are marked improvement and its still work in progress.”
The NIMASA DG noted that the benefits that would be derived from the total digitalization of all the Agency’s processes expected to be completed by 2022 would be enormous not just for the Stakeholders, but for the country at large including helping to improve balance of trade, and improved commercial shipping activities in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Dr. Bashir Jamoh led administration had always advocated the automation of the agency’s processes for enhanced and effective delivery of services. This renewed drive is seen as another stride in the total transformation of the maritime sector for economic benefit.