Maritime agencies commit to national single window

By EDU ABADE, Business Editor

  • We’re on the verge of concluding automation processes, NIMASA DG

Federal Government Agencies under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) have reached an agreement to digitalise their internal processes, while also maintaining focus on actualising the National Single Window regime in the nation’s transportation sector.

This agreement was reached at the fourth Heads of Maritime Agencies meeting in Lagos.

Addressing the press after the meeting, the Registrar of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sam Nwakohu, disclosed that full automation of the internal processes of the various Agencies represented, is a pre-requisite to achieving the much anticipated National Single Window regime in the sector.

Nwakohu, who was the Chairman of the meeting, said the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the various agencies have agreed on timelines to achieve full automation of internal processes. “We have agreed that all agencies under the Ministry of Transportation should, as a matter of priority, attain full automation. This process will be well coordinated and we also gave ourselves timelines to achieve this,” he said.

On his part, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, said NIMASA’s automation processes have reached over 80 per cent completion and assured that NIMASA’s commitment to automation will reduce human interface while plugging revenue leakages in the system.

“In line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business, we are committed to full automation to attain reduction of human interface in majority of our transactions with our stakeholders and this is in our bid to ensure transparency and professionalism, which the sector requires to grow. The goal is to align with the National Single Window initiative when all the internal processes of the various Agencies have been concluded,” he stated.

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Commenting on the high freight rate occasioned by the War Risk Insurance placed on Nigerian bound vessels Jamoh stated that the Agency would focus on creating the awareness, while also canvassing the International Community for a review. This move is in relation to the removal of Nigeria from the global piracy list.

“It may interest you to know that by the end of this quarter, which is the end of June, we would have recorded another milestone as we are yet to record a single attack or incident of maritime insecurity on our waters. Therefore, we will keep advocating for the total removal of War Risk Insurance by the international community, so that Nigerians can benefit from that,” Jamoh stated.

It would be recalled that the maiden edition of the meeting was in 2020, with the aim of enhancing the synergy and cooperation of agencies under the supervision of the FMOT, which is intended for a more effective and efficient maritime sector.

The meeting was attended by Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime and Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), George Moghalu.

Others are Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria; Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Emmanuel Duja Effedua and Director General, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Bayero Salih-Farah Zaria.

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