23 February 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – THE Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and its trading publics over the weekend agreed to adopt the electronic payment system to improve its revenue base.
While disclosing this, Managing Director of NPA, Malam Habib Abdulahi said that it has become imperative for management to seek ways of improving the revenue of the Authority without compromising efficiency and comfort for its r customers.
He explained that the e-payment process will also combat the challenges faced by stakeholders in making payments for business dealings, and complaints of delay in payment confirmation, leading to vessels delays.
“Nigerian Ports Authority acknowledges the problems our customers and other stakeholders have encountered in making payments for business dealings with us. Complaints of delays in payments confirmation leading to vessel delays and other harrowing experiences are common place.
“We have therefore responded with a solution that guarantees multiple payment channels and reconciliation challenges to the barest minimum”, he told the gathering.
The NPA boss listed the benefits of the e-transaction system to include: instant payment confirmation, faster and efficient service delivery, improved vessel turn-around time, cost reduction and identification and blockage of revenue leakages.
Giving a background to the introduction of the scheme, the Executive Director, Finance & Administration of the agency, Mr. Olumide Oduntan disclosed that the management on assumption of office identified three pillars that are critical to transformation in the maritime industry particularly in port operations as Human Resources, Technology and Process.
He added that before now, when payment is made it takes between three to four days for it to be confirmed, because it has to be taken to the NPA headquarters by customers and the headquarters will now send it through courier to the ports.
He however said that the new system will eliminate that long process as payments will now be confirmed as soon as it is made on same day.
Mr Oduntan announced that Interswitch Nigeria Limited is providing a platform that will facilitate the operation and that necessary infrastructure that will guarantee the efficiency of the process has been provided at all port locations with all Port Managers and Accountants adequately trained for the system.
Stakeholders at the launching described the system as a landmark for the maritime industry and commended the management of NPA for evolving the system that is designed to deepen port reforms.
Highlight of the occasion was stimulation and demonstration of the process by shipping agents, the Port Managers and their Port Accountants, officials of Interswitch Nigeria Limited.