By Godfrey Bivbere, MariaM Eko & Linda Onyemara
The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA is to reduce vessel waiting time at the nation’s ports through the introduction of electronic payment for transaction with its critical stakeholders.
Disclosing the e-payment schedule which is in line with Federal Government’s efforts to do away with paper transaction at the ports, Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, said that the Authority’s board had decided to automate its various ports and services for more effective and efficient cargo delivery.
Abdullahi said at a stakeholders meeting to unveil the scheme that the e-payment platform which is packaged by NPA in conjunction with Interswitch is expected to commence on the 3rd of March, 2014.
According to the NPA boss, the management decision to “Automate and integrate the various ports nationwide using the same information technology platform, thereby improving efficiency and reducing manual intervention in our processes.
“NPA acknowledges the problems our customers and other stakeholders have encountered in making payments for business dealings with us. Complaints of delays in payment confirmation, leading to vessel delay and other harrowing experiences are common place.
“We have therefore responded with a solution that guarantees multiply payments channels and reduce reconciliation challenges to the barest minimum. Some of the benefits of the e-payment platform include:
“Instant payment confirmation, elimination of human interference in the payment procedure, improves vessel turn around time and also reduces cost of doing business in our port, which impact the nation’s economy.”
Abdullahi pointed out that the desire of the Authority is to see the elimination of delay in confirmation of payment of provisional bills across the ports, long documentation and payment confirmation procedures arising from the above.