The federal government has banned all agencies from conducting individual cargo inspection at the ports, noting that such inspections must be done jointly.
The Executive Secretary, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello disclosed this on Wednesday during a courtesy call to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Chairman, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd).
He said the regime of the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) recently approved has commenced with no provision for individual inspections by agencies, directing inspection agencies to assemble do joint inspection by 9 am.
“What causes delay is the lack of harmonisation of operating procedures of many agencies at the port. We want all agencies to be on the same page so the process is efficient. The manual says everyone should assemble at the port by 8:30 am and by 9:00 am, everyone does joint inspection. This will cut out delays, ensure efficiency, and promote ease of doing business” Mr. Bello said.
With this measure in place, the ports digitisation process must reach 90 per cent by this first quarter just as the government targets 24 hours operations at the ports.
“Some terminal operators have 98 per cent and others are coming up. Our target is that by the end of the first quarter, we should achieve 90 per cent digitalisation so you don’t need to go to the port to transact business,” he stated.
“We are also aiming to have 24 hours operations at the seaports just like the airports. We are doing it in conjunction with our sister agencies at the ports” he further stated.
The NDLEA Chairman, Brig. Gen. Marwa (rtd) pledged his support to the new reform but he added that the NDLEA will not compromise its duties in stopping illicit drugs from entering the country to destroy citizens.