- Tasks CBN on Intervention In Maritime Sector
By Shola Fadeyi
Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary/ CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC)
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), the Seaports Economic Regulator has pledged that by March 2021, 90 per cent of the Ports operations will be fully digitalized, as part of measures, to enhance their efficiency and make them to be more customer- friendly.
The Executive Secretary/CEO of the Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello who made the promise while speaking to the media in Abuja said that the digitalization process is currently at 60 per cent , pointing out that the Council is out to modernize the ports, increase efficiency, boost revenue and facilitate legitimate trade.
Bello said Government through the Council has since begun the process of full digitalization and integration of the Nigerian seaports , a development , he stated , has been boosting their facilities, adding that there was a need to have paperless operations at the Ports , for the fact that the physical presence of people at the terminals is slowing down operations.
This is as the Shippers’ Council’s CEO has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), to also support the Ports sector, by investing in the logistic chain and in the area of exports, because of the huge potentials that abound in the port segment of the economy, just as it is intervening in agriculture, aviation and the entertainment industry.
He disclosed that due to the vigorous manner in which the Council has been moving to ensure that ports operations are digitalized , there are already terminals at the ports that have attained 80 per cent digitalization , emphasizing, however , that digitalization process remains for now , generally , at 60 per cent.
Saying that digitalization and integration of the Ports is now the target of the Federal Government , he explained that it has been the reason for the efforts towards having the Single Window Operation, adding that the various layers and agencies at the ports, were being integrated into one system, to support the reality of a fully digitalized ports in Nigeria.
Bello said the Apex Bank needed to intervene in the maritime industry because it is a sector that has the capacity to generate not less than N7 trillion, up from its current , about N1.9 trillion, for the economy yearly , provided that, it is properly managed.
He described the maritime sector as the engine room of economic growth,that has in its custody the nation’s vast coastline and huge natural resources, adding that there was a need for concerted efforts to be made to leverage on its many deliverables.
The Shippers’ Council boss disclosed that the maritime sector’s contributions to the economy even has the potential to continue to rise, if it is supported like the other sectors of the economy , saying that currently, 80 per cent of the revenue generated by the Nigerian Customs Service is realized from the maritime sector.