The desire to drive the wheel of progress with greater speed at the ports has led to the introduction of the electronic Ships Entry Notice (e- SEN), says Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Habib Abdulahi.
Speaking at the launch of the e-SEN and the account of two years stewardship of the present NPA management in Lagos yesterday, Abdullahi said introduction of the electronic platform was programmed to provide link to the world economy that would on the long run encourage international trade.
He said, “The e-SEN will eliminate the delay in the 48 hours clearing process in the port, eliminate unnecessary delay of vessels in port awaiting payment confirmation leading to demurages payment by ships calling the Nigerian ports.
“This platforms when fully operational will eliminate delay in confirmation of payment of provisional bills across the ports, long documentation and payment confirmation procedures arising from confirmation of payment of provisional bills.
“The SEN process hitherto was done manually. Stakeholders purchased booklets of application forms, filled leaflet and submit manually to the designated SEN offices located in either the Western Ports or Eastern Ports head offices depending on the port of call.
“This manual process is fraught with challenges such as duplication of requests, slow response to requests due to delayed verification and validation of ship data.”
Abdullahi said the loss of manhours in business and the risk involved in commuting necessitated the initiative.
“This platform will help build a data repository of ship movement in all the ports for intelligence, research and educational purpose, eliminate revenue leakage and improve port efficiency as well as promote transparency and efficiency in the entire ship entry notice process.”
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Finance and Account Olumide Odunlade, said the introduction of the e- SEN was for the agency to have control over its business.
“What brings us here today is for the agency to have control of the first point of transactions which was where transaction start and I believe we will have that control by using the e-SEN.”
On his two-year stewardship at the helm of affairs in NPA, Abdulahi said his team has transformed Nigerian ports to become the third best port in Africa from number five spot when about three years ago.
“To acheive efficient port service in a safe, secured and customer friendly environment, the management has to pay attention to improving existing port infrastructure in the area of rehabilitation of ports quay walls, deepening of channels, upgrading of common user facilities and wreck removal from the channels.”
“It is also privileged that it is during this management that the Federal government has approved the development of a deep sea poet in Lekki under a PPP arrangement, other similar project located in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom, olokola, Ondo, Ogun state. Badagry, Lagos State are also being considered.
“Also in February, we introduced the electronic payment solution which has tremendously improved our operations by identifying and blocking all avenues of revenue leakages, investment in massive infrastructural renewal and development geared towards deepening the channel to attract larger vessel.
“Some of the benefits of the e-payment platform include instant payment confirmation, elimination of human interface in the payment procedures, improved vessel turn around time and reduce the cost of doing business in the ports,” he stated.
Many stakeholders who attended the event including Chairman of the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Val Usifoh, commended NPA for the initiative.
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