The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has started the total digital manifest management regime for all vessels calling at all Nigerian ports.
The Director-General, DG, of the agency, Dr Bashir Jamoh, stated this in a statement signed by Edward Osagie, Assistant Director Public Relations, NIMASA, in Lagos on Monday.
Mr Jamoh said that the physical transactions concerning Sailing Certificates and cargo manifest processing are being phased out completely.
He urged the stakeholders to fully embrace the agency’s initiative by visiting the NIMASA portal.
He said that the automation was aimed at reducing human interaction, improve efficiency and block revenue leakages.
“In line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business, we are committed to improving turnaround time of vessels, reduction of human interface in majority of our transactions with our stakeholders.
“This is in our bid to ensure transparency and professionalism that the sector requires to grow.
“We have improved our operational relationship with our sister agencies. As we speak, we have made tremendous progress in our determination to convey sailing clearance for vessels to the NPA electronically.
“We also receive and process manifests electronically. This has improved efficiency leading to improvement in the turn-around-time of vessels calling at the nation’s ports,” Mr Jamoh said.
He noted that at present, the authority had ensured that the process of submitting and processing manifests was reduced from 72 hours to five hours for Very Large Crude Carriers, VLCCs, and larger container vessels.
He said that it would only take two hours or less for smaller vessels.
“You will agree with me that these are marked improvements and it is still work in progress,” he said.
The NIMASA D-G noted that the benefits that would be derived from the total digitalisation 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.
He added that it would help to improve balance of trade and commercial shipping activities in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Jamoh-led administration had always advocated the automation of the agency’s processes for enhanced and effective delivery of services.
This renewed drive is seen as another stride in the total transformation of the maritime sector for economic benefit.