25 April 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian branch of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, ICS, of London, yesterday passed a vote of no confidence of the Revenue Invoice Management System, RIMS, initiated by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, about four years ago.
Speaking at this year’s Annual General Meeting of the Institute, a member of the Institute, Mr. Michael Akoh who also presented a paper at the meeting said that poor computer network and a lack of modern computer system has brought about delays in processing vessel arrival berthing and unberthing which has resulted in loss of time and revenue to operators.
Akoh explained that NPA’s Revenue Invoice Management System is not working, adding that the inefficiency of the system is telling on shipping operations across the ports in Nigeria.
He said “Poor computer network and a lack of modern computer system and strong, stable internet connection has caused delays in processing vessel arrival thereby resulting in the loss of time before, and during port calls.
“This obviously resulted in high cost of port operation in Nigeria”.
At a point, bills for shipping services are handwritten because of the failure of the system and this takes a long time to prepare.
Text messages showed that besides the Institute other stakeholders have also lamented the inefficiency of the RIMS just as they have concluded plans to confront the management on the failure of the project.
Part of the text message reads “It is ludicrous and bad planning for you to initiate a very good programme like RIMS to enhance productivity and efficiency of ports activities without you supporting it with a robust internet system. Today no network, tomorrow server is hanging, the next day it is another problem.
“When you are introducing RIMS to us, we thought you had perfected everything, cross the ‘T’s and dot the ‘I’s. But unfortunately, the set back is coming from you. Please if you are not yet ready for this course kindly revert to the old legacy system until you are ready.
Shipping voyage is all about time and time management. Billions of dollars are being tied down by this unhealthy action of delay.
Apapa port especially is considered to be the premier port in Nigeria, then why the setback we are experiencing. Please, we are appealing to NPA management not to draw back the hand of the clock in shipping.”
“I do not understand why we can’t come together to x-ray what we have been going through and put it in print then send same to the Managing Director of NPA for an action plan. We keep complaining about a particular issue without addressing it. Shortly after the same matter is half solved another or same will crop up, yet no lasting solution is proffered. I can assure you that management of the NPA will either do one of these if pressure from the shipping companies is compelled.
“You change the management team of this RIM or cancel the entire process to look for an alternative to mitigate our losses. I do not understand why we can’t come together to x-ray what we have been going through and put it in print then send same to the Managing Director of NPA for an action plan.