In a bid to combat the challenges faced by stakeholders in making payments for business dealings, complaints of delay in payment confirmation leading to vessels delays, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has introduced an e-payment revenue collection solution for all payments for transaction at the nation’s Seaports.
In a welcome address at the one-day flag-off/sensitization forum for stakeholders in the maritime industry held at Eko Hotel today, Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi said, “Nigerian Ports Authority acknowledges the problems our customers and other stakeholders have encountered in making payments for business dealings with us. Complaints of delays in payments confirmation leading to vessel delays and other harrowing experiences are common place. We have therefore responded with a solution that guarantees multiple payment channels and reconciliation challenges to the barest minimum”.
Abdullahi listed the benefits of the system to include, instant payment confirmation, faster & efficient service delivery, improved vessel turn-around time, cost reduction and identification and blockage of revenue leakages.
Giving a background to the introduction of the scheme, the Executive Director, Finance & Administration of the Authority and the initiator of the scheme, Mr. Olumide Oduntan disclosed that the current NPA management on assumption of office identified the three pillars that are critical to transformation of the maritime industry particularly in port operations as human resources, technology and process.
He added that before now, when payment is made it takes between three to four days for it to be confirmed because it has to be taken to the Headquarters by customers and the headquarters will now send it through courier to the ports. The new system he said, will eliminate that process as payments will now be confirmed as soon as it is made on same day.
Oduntan announced that Interswitch Nigeria Limited is providing a platform that will facilitate the operation and that necessary infrastructure that will guarantee the efficiency of the process has been provided at all port locations with all Port Managers and Chief Port Accountants adequately trained for the system.
Stakeholders at the launching described the system as a landmark for the Maritime Industry and commended the Management of NPA for evolving the system that is designed to deepen port reforms.
Highlight of the occasion was stimulation and demonstration of the process by shipping agents, the port managers and their accountants and officials of Interswitch Nigeria Limited.
Present at the occasion were the Executive Director, Marine and Operation, Engr. David Omonibeke, Executive Director, Engrineering & Technical Services, Arc. Mohammed Saleh, Managing Director of Interswitch Limited Mr Mitchel Elegbe, top Management staff of NPA, representatives of shipping companies and concessionaires and other stakeholders.