‘Nigerian seaports operation to be fully digitalised by 2025’
The Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, has said that deliberate measures and investments are being put in place to achieve a fully-digitalised operation at all the country’s seaports by 2025.
Bello-Koko disclosed this in his presentation on ‘NPA’s Digitalisation Roadmap and Current Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Implementation Status’ at the 41st Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) Annual Council Meeting and 16th Round-table Conference of Managing Directors of PMAWCA, in Douala, Cameroon.
He said a five-year plan was being implemented by the NPA for the attainment of a fully-digitalised port system.
He informed the delegates that a lot of work has gone into the smart port transformation agenda of the authority. This, he said, would enthrone paperless, time-saving and cost-efficient port operations in the country.
Represented by the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Prof. Idris Abubakar, the NPA helmsman disclosed that the authority first deployed the main computer system in 1975 to improve its payroll management, billing, statistical and accounting systems.
He added that available records also showed that from 1992, the deployment of personal computers was done at all the ports to ease data management while information sharing was difficult as there was no connectivity between the ports.
Bello-Koko said the primary focus of the new strategy was on enterprise computing and heavy dependence on network infrastructure, along with a centralised and shared database.
According to him, the adoption of a phased ICT deployment is geared towards achieving a fully-integrated port system to foster a relationship with all internal and external stakeholders, streamline the authority’s internal business processes, make use of high-end smart technologies as well as record, monitor and utilise data for better decision-making.
Bello-Koko revealed that so far, the authority has deployed a portfolio of systems and infrastructure towards the actualisation of its ICT objectives. He listed some of the initiatives to include Oracle Enterprise Business Suite for financial and human resources planning, Billing/Revenue and Invoice Management System (RIMS) to fast-track billing processing and Customer Portal/electronic Ship Entry Notice (eSEN)/Manifest Upload for shipping traffic management.
President of PMAWCA and Director General of Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA), Mr. Micheal Luguje, described the conference theme, ‘Digitalised Port as a model of Port Efficiency’ as relevant and timely.
The event was attended by representatives of the International Association for Ports and Harbours (IAPH) International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Union of African Shippers Council and the Abuja MoU.