The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has agreed to integrate the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) transaction portal into the authority’s web portal, in a bid to facilitate access to operational information.
Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, who disclosed this when she received members of the CRFFN governing board who paid her a courtesy call at the NPA headquarters in Lagos, explained that the move is to create a synergy between the activities of the authority and the Council.
Usman assured that port users and most especially the Governing Board of the Council that the NPA management would always be willing to promote an enabling environment and support to the Council in its quest to having a smooth operation in the ports.
She told the delegates led by the Council’s Chairman, Abubakar Tsanni, that the management was presently carrying out a review of the concession agreement with the terminal operators which is being bank rolled by the World Bank for a more efficient port operation as well as to put them in line with International best practice.
She also said that sanctions have been put in place for either party who might wish to default in this regard.
Earlier in his welcome address, Tsanni informed the management that the body was in 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 management 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, all registered freight forwarders needed to be issued port entry permit as contained in the CRFFN Act, section 19 (1) to urgently avert any security breach in view of the volatility of the port axis and most especially unwarranted human traffic.
He stated that the body has 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.
While enumerating the various challenges facing the port industry including delays caused by the traffic gridlock and non-provision of empty containers holding bay by shipping companies, he requested that the management take a holistic approach to the charges slammed on Nigerian importers arising from shipping companies not having holding bays.
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.