By Eromosele Abiodun
To facilitate access to operational information, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has agreed to integrate the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) transaction Portal into its web portal.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, disclosed this while receiving members of the CRFFN governing board who paid her a courtesy call. The NPA boss explained that the move was to create a synergy between the activities of the authority and the council.
Bala-Usman assured the entire port users and most especially the governing board of CRFFN that the NPA would always be willing to promote an enabling environment and support to the Council in its quest at having a smooth operation in the ports.
She told the delegates that NPA was presently carrying out a review of the concession agreement with the terminal operators, which is being financed by the World Bank for a more efficient port operation as well as to put them in shape in line with International best practice.
Sanctions, she stated, have been put in place for either party who might wish to default in this regard.
In his speech, the Chairman of the CRFFN, Abubakar Tsanni Amadi said the body was in the NPA to seek for a mutual relationship between both parties with a view to further having an efficient service delivery through a seamless Port operation across board.
He called for an improved collaboration with the NPA in addressing the issue of unauthorised access to the Ports especially as it concerns those with no legitimate business in the Port. According to him, permit need to be issued to registered freight forwarders as contained in the CRFFN Act, section 19 to urgently avert any security breach in view of the volatility of the Port axis and most especially unwarranted human traffic.
Amadi, while enumerating the various challenges facing the port industry such as delays caused by the long dwelling time of cargo(DTC), traffic gridlock, and non-provision of empty containers holding bay by shipping companies, he requested NPA management to take a holistic approach to the charges slammed on Nigerian importers arising from shipping companies not having holding bays.
He stated that the body had set up committees with relevant sections of the CRFFN Act which, if harnessed, with the management’s security division would bring sanity to the ports operation and most meaningfully enhance revenue generation to the nation at large.
He further stated that the present CRFFN executive, which came on board in 2018 met an environment not conducive for port operations especially as it concerns the port infrastructure leading to the ports and its environs hence the need for courtesy visit to impress on the management to redress the situation urgently.