01 November 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, says the greatest challenge to speedy cargo clearance at the nation’s seaports is to have agencies that are directly involved in cargo clearance play their respective roles seamlessly.
Usman also said NPA should not be solely blamed for lapses in cargo clearance at seaports “because it takes more than NPA to see cargo out of the ports.”
According to the NPA boss, “the challenge is to get all agencies come under the Single Window which NPA is under-taking”, to achieve a smoother and faster clearance of cargo from the seaports.
In a lecture, entitled “Driving the Change Agenda through Freight Forwarding,” as part of activities marking the 68th birthday celebration of Prince Olayiwola Shittu, former President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent, ANCLA, in Lagos, Usman called on freight forwarders in the nation’s maritime industry to improve in terms of organisation and capacity building that would enable them practice their profession in line with international best practices.
“Freight forwarders must play an effective role in ports operations because today’s customer desires services that are quick, reliable and flexible,” she said.
She disclosed that the NPA has taken some steps aimed at improving freight forwarding in tandem with the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and meeting the expectations of the World Bank on trade facilitation.
These steps, according to her, included the launching of the provisional, final billing and customer portal module of Revenue Invoice Management System aimed at improving service delivery, partner relationship, creating efficient payment method, maximising revenue and eradicating loss and revenue leakage.
Other steps, she enumerated, included the establishment of a committee in collaboration with Nigerian Navy to address Apapa gridlock, call up system for trucks with shipping companies, collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service, NSC, in introducing the much-awaited Single Window Platform and the establishment of an inter-ministerial committees chaired by the Managing Director of NPA and co-chaired by the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC.