Shippers’ council decries human traffic at TICT, seeks full automation
TO further streamline cargo clearance processes, the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) has advised management of Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) to embrace full automation of its operation.
Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, who visited TICT on Monday, expressed disappointment at the high human traffic at the Terminal.
He identified automation as key in eliminating human contact at the ports, adding that challenges at the port would be minimize if operators embrace full automation.
Accompanied by senior management staff of NSC, Bello said: “What will solve most of the problem of the port is automation. I thought this is a thing of the past because we have been to other terminals and have not seen crowd like this. The port must be sanitised. You should look at this because human contact also breeds corruption. Once we have technology, there will be transparency.”
The NSC boss also urged TICT to improve on cargo dwell time and address complaints of alleged booking delay for examination at the terminal.
Bello explained that with an advance cargo information system recently introduced by the Council, cargo clearance would be faster.
Bello said: “We are equip with advance cargo information system where at the port of loading, we will get the information on the cargo and we will share this information with you so that you, customs, shipping companies will be ready and have notification, this will make cargo clearance faster”.
Bello advised TICT to avail the NSC information on their challenges, which according to him would be directed to the government for prompt intervention, adding that the government is already addressing the problem of road infrastructure.
In his response, Managing Director, TICT, Etienne Rochers blamed the situation on Customs and other government agencies involved in cargo clearance at the port.
Rochers said: “You are correct in saying that there are a number of processes that is requiring physical interface but a lot of these processes are actually not related to the terminal. We operate a pedestrian free yard. They are related to government agencies processes and we essentially have to minimize them and this is what we have been doing to improve the processes,”
However, Rochers explained that the terminal is making plans to replace manual documentation with an electronic platform, which according to him will be accessible round the clock.
He said: “We have been working on improving processes. We can handle everything from within and very soon. We will also be going a along way towards dematerialising the documentation of invoicing payment process by introducing an e- platform which will be accessible 24/7 and 365 day a year.”