By Godwin Oritse
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Malam Abdul Salam Mohammed has said thatÂ Automated System Customâ€™s Data (ASYCUDA) should be adopted so as toÂ realize an electronically driven Port operation system.
Malam Abdul Salam Mohammed was speaking in LagosÂ when members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on One-Stop Shop for the Ports briefed members of the NPA management on the activities of the committee during a courtesy call.
According to the Managing Director, ASYCUDA, as a concept, with little modifications, has the potentials of achieving the expectation of an electronically driven one-stop shop and community network in the nationâ€™s seaports.
AbdulsalamÂ told members of the Committee that in furtherance with the desire of the Management to ensure the smooth implementation of the electronic Manifest System in the nationâ€™s ports; the Authority had since last January appointed a Local Committee to fine tune the implementation of the system.
The Local Committee which is under the leadership of the General Manager, Corporate & Strategic Planning, Mr. Christopher Borha, has a mandate toÂ introduce the use ofÂ electronic manifest that is compatible with ASYCUDA to Port users, to ensure the establishment of a common electronic platform for Port users as well as carry out all other core functions that would ensure the continuity of the project.
Considering the cumbersome procedure of goods clearance in the nationâ€™s seaport, the AbdulsalamÂ suggested that the introduction of the electronic manifests system should be on port by port basis, using the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Apapa, as a pilot scheme.
Malam Abdul Salam Mohammed reiterated that for the scheme to succeed, it must involve the Nigerian Customs Service (NC) Shipping companies, Clearing Agents and Terminal Operators.
He was of the opinionÂ that the issues of safety and security, if not carefully and professionally handled, may pose a challenge to the implementation of the proposed system.