The Shippers’ Association of Lagos State (SALS) has advocated for a new order that will coordinate and regulate maritime administration in Nigeria.
President of the association, Rev. Jonathan Nicole said on Thursday that the new port order his association was calling for would automate the ports, reduce human and vehicular traffic and some other bottlenecks that hinder effective port operation and boost government revenue.
“The new port order we are calling for is an order that will make Nigerian ports fully automated to reduce unnecessary human and vehicular traffic. When the order is in place, you will hardly see human traffic or see trucks line up and when you have anything to pick up at the port, you only need a pass and do not need any human being to attend to the truck since everything is automated,” he said.
Nicole said his association was collaborating with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to make the new port order come into being.
He however explained that the idea behind the order was to help look at the situation whereby only people and vehicles that have business to do at the ports are allowed in.
“We are looking at a situation whereby from Mile two down to the port, there will be no vehicles coming into the Apapa or Tin Can ports except those coming exclusively for port service. We never had a unit that monitor movement of vehicles coming into and out of Apapa. The port ought to be a private road for only those who have business to do in the port and not for passers-by,” Nicole said.
He however disclosed that part of the dreams of the association is for Shippers to be in the confines of their homes or offices to clear their goods.
He said the shippers were “tired of passing through queries and snubs on the line of clearing their cargoes”.
He said, “We hope it works out as suggested because if it works, government will benefit from it, they will make more revenue through increased cargoes that will come into the country and the more cargoes we have, the more money government will make.”
He said the get rich quick syndrome of port users has led to decay in the maritime sector.
“All the problems we have presently in the ports are created as a result of human error; men want to be rich overnight and that stops our rules from working so we have to generate a new concept that will make us generate money by doing things right and the industry will be well organised,” he stated.
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