In a bit to bring a lasting solution to the persistent traffic gridlock along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has disclosed that it is working together with members of the organized private sector to introduce electronic traffic management system at the ports.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr Hassan Bello, made this known recently, when the President of NACIMMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, with some other top executives of the association paid a courtesy visit to the Council in Apapa, Lagos.
He said that no matter how efficient a terminal is, if there is no access roads to convey the cargoes out of the ports there will be a problem. Bello maintained that not all articulated vehicles that are in the ports that are supposed to be there.
He said, “no matter how efficient a terminal is if there are no access roads of conveying the cargos out of the ports there will be problem. It is even more than that, we need a modern traffic management, it is not all trailers or articulated vehicles that should come to the ports to do some business of dropping and picking cargo”
“Some of the trucks we see along this Apapa-Oshodi expressway do not have any business to do at the ports. So there must be some control or some electronic control, scientific control of management of traffic and that is what Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) is doing and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is spearheading it”.
Talking about making the Nigerian ports export-friendly, he explained that the agency is working with NACIMMA and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to designate ports for particular exports.
He maintained that the move will help address the issue of standardization.
“Talking about making the Nigerian ports export friendly, I think for long we have been depending on importation until the advent of this administration which started the diversification of the economy for export. Our ports is configured to just be receiving, that is why we have a lot of containers coming in and most of them leaving empty and that doesn’t show we are serious, but now you can see that the level of non-oil export is always on the increase, because of the government deliberate action”
“So what we are trying to do with NACCIMA and NPA is to designate ports for particular export. So that all the issues of standardization are sorted out, our exporters are complaining that the ports should not be used to examine cargoes for export and I agree with them, they should be done somewhere else. Kaduna (Inland Dry Port) for example is a port and government agencies should be there to sort things out not when it gets to the seaports”, he added.
“So I think what we are going to do is to look at the ports, if you talk about mining the specialty and characteristics of some certain minerals will not allow them to be exported from the normal port because of the nature. So we are working on the problem of clearance and export”
The NSC boss also said that they are working with some private sectors to address some of the problems at the ports, even as he added that the collaboration with NACCIMA is very significant.
Bello, also said that the agency is also targeting making cargo clearance at the port technologically driven.
“So we are targeting the processes of cargo clearance at the ports that is fundamental, we need to make it technologically-driven. To make it transparent we need to eliminate waste and conserve time so that the dwelling time of cargo will be appreciable and comparable with international or regional standard and that is what we are doing.
Also speaking the president of NACIMMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, said that the visit was to collaborate with the Shippers’ Council to decongest the ports.
She also urged the council to review some obsolete policies in the sector, adding that people who don’t have business in the port should not be there.
She reiterated the need for industry players to be properly educated.
“Our visit hers is to collaborate with the Shippers Council so that we all work together to decongest the ports that is the exact reason we are here. The formula to achieve this is with all these policies that are obsolete, we want the reformation of all these obsolete policies.