By Stephen Ubanna
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has commenced total digital manifest management regime for all vessels calling at all Nigerian Ports. The Physical transactions concerning Sailing Certificates and cargo manifest processing are being phased out completely as stakeholders are encouraged to fully embrace the Agency’s initiative by visiting the NIMASA portal.
Bashir Jamoh, Director General, of the maritime regulatory agency had said that’’ the automation of manifest management regime of all vessels is aimed at further reducing human interaction, improve efficiency and block revenue leakages’’.
He noted that “In line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business, across the country’s seaports, the agency remains committed ‘’to improving turnaround time of vessels, reduction of human interface in majority of our transactions with our stakeholders, stressing that ‘’this is in our bid to ensure transparency and professionalism that the sector require to grow.”
It is instructive to note that ‘’the agency have improved its operational relationship with other sister Agencies, and have also made tremendous progress in its determination ‘’to convey sailing clearance for Vessels to the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA electronically’’. At present, the agency also receive and process manifests electronically” which had somewhat improved efficiency, thus leading to an improvement in the turn-around-time of vessels calling at the nation’s Ports.
Suffice it to say that“right now we have ensured that the process of submitting and processing manifests is reduced from 72hours to 5hours for Very Large Crude Carriers, VLCCs, and larger container vessels whereas it would only take two hours or less for smaller vessels’’, described maritime circles as a ‘’marked improvement and its still work in progress, the NIMASA,Chief executive Officer, CEO, remarked.
The NIMASA boss opined that ‘’the benefits that would be derived from the total digitalization of all the Agency’s processes expected to be completed by 2022 would be enormous not just for the Stakeholders, but for the country at large including helping to improve balance of trade, and improved commercial shipping activities in Nigeria’’.
Until the automation of manifest management regime, the Jamoh led NIMASA Management Team, had always ‘’advocated the automation of the Agency’’s processes for enhanced and effective delivery of services’’. Industry stakeholders see this renewed drive as another stride in ‘’the total transformation of the nation’s maritime sector for economic benefit’.