Lagos — The Nigerian Port Consultative Council, PCC, has said the Electronic Truck call up (e-call-up) system is a major part of maritime industry reform that will have a far reaching effect on the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the Nigerian ports.
Speaking to Sweetcrudereport, Chairman of the Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin, said that if the initiative is successful, it will free the Lagos anchorage of vessels waiting to berth as this will also lead to free berths for vessels to discharge and ultimately increase the productivity of terminal operators.
Folarin also said that the initiative will restructure and regulate the entire port system and by extension free the port corridor of the perennial traffic gridlock.
He explained that the newly introduced e-call-up has a long value chain right from the anchorage to the metropolis of Nigerian cities.
He stated that the system should not be seen as solving just the problem of gridlock as it has the potential of solving multiplicity of challenges facing the industry.
He was of the opinion the entire issue of the gridlock has a national image implication before the comity of maritime nations particularly the International Maritime Organization, IMO, where Nigeria has been trying to get on the Council seat for many years now.
He stated: ‘‘If we do not get the call-up system right, it will affect us economically, it will affect us financially and socially in terms of our image. It will affect our opportunity to get into the IMO Council.
‘‘We must not look at the e-call-up system as solving only one problem but we must look at the benefits and the consequences. It is a very important project.
‘‘The flow is not controlled by NPA, the flow is not controlled by the terminal, it is controlled by a multiplicity of agencies.
‘‘If for instance Customs does not examine the cargo, it cannot be release meaning that the cargo cannot leave the port.
‘‘So Customs performance will also affect this call up because if Customs does not release the cargo in time may affect the benefit of the call up system.
‘‘If SON, NAFDAC and other agencies do not effect release of cargo, it will affect the entire system.’’