The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammad Bello Koko, has said that the various reforms programs introduced by the authority have reduced the waiting time of vessels at the Nigerian ports.
The MD also said the reforms have resulted in the overall reduction of Turn-Around-Time of vessels, reduced ports cost, increased port and cargo traffic as well as facilitated trade.
Koko was speaking at the August 2022 edition of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Lunch Time Reform Seminar, titled ‘The Contribution of the Nigeria Port Authority in Enhancing Economic Growth and Ease of doing Business in Nigeria’ and held in Abuja.
The NPA MD also said regulating ports body contributes on average, about 1.6 percent of Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product, being the major facilitator of trade whose services all other sectors depend on for import and export.
“In the first half of 2022, NPA has generated a revenue of over N172bn from its operations. The authority has in the same period remitted over over N78bn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the federation,” Bello Koko added.
Some of the reforms he outlined include: Electronic Ship Entry Notice (ESEN), Electronic Manifest Download, provision of 24 hours ports operation, night illumination of the port environment and gate access control among others.
Earlier, the BPSR DG, Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, said maritime transportation plays a major role in the national and international trade and economic growth.
He however said enumerated some factors which he said port operators attributed as contributing to the high cost of doing business at the ports to include gridlock on the port access roads, delay in scanning and physical examination, duplicated charges and charges not tied to services, cargo dwell time/ lengthy port procedures, and block stacking of containers.
“Others factors were lack of holding bay and trailer parks; unethical conduct of shipping companies and terminal operators; infrastructure problem; customs procedure and associated delays. The Nigeria Ports Authority in implementing the executive order on ease of doing business is addressing these and other related challenges.
“To enhance economic growth and ease of doing business, the Nigeria Port Authority went through a reform program to promote efficiency through a Private-Public partnership which resulted in the concession of the corporation.
“On this note, some port terminals which were formerly managed and regulated by the Nigerian Port Authority were concessioned to private operations for a period of time,” Arabi explained.
The BPSR boss however commended NPA for the reforms, and said has been consistently making efforts to relieve the importers and ports operators with several incentives.
Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Principal Information Officer (BPSR)
31st August, 2022.