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Hadiza Usman, NPA

Maritime stakeholders, NPA move to automate operations at ports

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More credence have been given to the planned reforms of the nation’s shipping industry as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and shipping stakeholders have agreed to reposition Nigerian ports for modern equipment and technology applications.

The experts recently gathered at the Executive Business Networking Lunch seminar on improving port operational efficiency organized by the Nigeria International Maritime Ports & Terminal Conference and Exhibition (NIMPORT) in Lagos.

According to them, the application of modern technology in cargo handling equipment is very important as it determines the operational effectiveness at the quay and in the sheds.

Leading the opinion drive was the Chairman, NIMPORT, Fortune Idu who argued that the digital port operations is a major factor  required to foster development, deepen quality port equipment that can accelerate cargo facilitation and reduce overall time losses.

Idu said “addressing the issue of substandard equipment and facilities will directly address the problems for the port efficiency and in particular help reduce economic losses at the port and logistics corridors due to broken down trucks, lifters and forklifts among others,”

But the guest speaker and, Head Transport and Policy, School of Transport, Lagos State University, Iyiola Oni, said in this current economic crisis, Nigerian ports need to adapt efficiently in order to meet the ever changing and developing needs of the industry.

He disclosed that estimated 35 per cent of port’s capital budget is spent on procurement and maintenance of cargo handling equipment.

Driving his points home with remarks to some policies of NPA on trade facilitation (TFC), Information Communication Technology (ICT) and e-payment platforms among others, NIMPORT boss argued that relevant technologies must be integrated with current operational and information structures and systems at ports terminals.

Earlier in her comments, the Managing Director, NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, said NPA’s vision is to be the leading port in Africa will be driven by more automation and provision of critical infrastructure in the ports.

She noted that the nation must lead in modernization of equipment and infrastructure to respond to global trends in shipping business, thus developments and upgrades of existing port infrastructure, as well as improvements in port performance have become imperative.


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