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Ease of doing business at Nigeria’s seaports: Maritime stakeholders hail Bello-Koko’s achievements

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For the massive gains recorded in the ease of doing business at the seaports across the country, maritime stakeholders including the licensed customs agents have lauded the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko.

Specifically, they highlighted the marked improvement in traffic on the port access road which hitherto had locked down the facilities.

As part of increased effort in ease of doing business, they noted that trade facilitation and the creation of several thousands of jobs through effective barge operation had been recorded in the last one year.

They also pointed out massive improvement in infrastructure and orderliness at Warri, Port Harcourt and Calabar ports since the NPA helmsman came on board as against disorder and chaotic situations at the ports a few years ago.

On revenue generation, they also noted that the NPA had increased remittances into the Consolidated Revenue Account (CRA) of the Federal Government from N80 billion to N91 billion in 2022 in spite of low importation into the country and dwindling revenue generation by some agencies of government.

NPA’s revenue has risen from N317 billion in 2020 to N361 billion in 2022, thereby supporting the federal government in meeting its obligation to Nigerians.

“The NPA has supported the national economy through unprecedented revenue generation and remittances to CRF of the federation with revenues steadily growing from N317 billion in 2020 to N361billion in 2022 and remittances progressively soaring from 80 Billion in 2020 to 91Billion by financial year end 2022.

“The NPA created new businesses and attendant job opportunities such as the barge operations services which apart from reducing pressure on the roads has grown into a N2 billion annual generation business both from direct investment and accompanying externalities.

“Licensing of additional truck parks to increase the capacity of truck parks servicing the Lagos Ports, ” an official of NPA said.

Persecondnews recalls that Bello-Koko, was appointed the Managing Director of NPA on May 6, 2021 in acting capacity and was confirmed on February 21, 2022.

As part of his measure to improve the ease of doing business at the ports, the Bello-Koko recently approved the licensing of 10 Export Processing Terminals (EPT) to facilitate the seamless export of cargo out of the nation’s seaports.

“Licensing of 10 Export Processing Terminals to facilitate exports at Nigerian Sea Ports is to provide a one-stop shop for export where quality control, cargo assessment by all government agencies and issuance of good-to-ship clearance will be obtained.

“This has led to a significant reduction in truck turn-around time due to successful implementation of the E-Call Up System, “an importer, Akinwale James also said.

Investigation revealed that the enforcement of the Minimum Safety Standards on trucks accessing the ports by the current management of the NPA has led to 65% reduction in the number of accidents recorded at the port corridor.

“Enforcement of Minimum Safety Standards on trucks which stipulates that all trucks accessing the Ports are inspected, certified and issued stickers to assure safety. 65% reduction in the number of accidents recorded, arising from improved standards of trucks operating within the Port premises,” a clearing agent, Chukwuka Ayam, said.

On the automation and digitalization of the port processes, the stakeholders said the NPA management had also engaged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the development of the Port Community System.

“The current management has engaged with the IMO on the development of the Port Community System pursuant to the IMO instrument on automation and digitalization of port processes.

“Also, award of consultancy for the deployment of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS); a maritime safety measure that equips with Domain Awareness Capability to enable us to guide and provide safety information to vessels within our channels and ports approaches in line with the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) conventions.”

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