Shippers’ Council canvasses ‘smart ports’ for Nigeria
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, who made this call during a sensitization workshop in Lagos, urged immediate adoption of e-commerce, especially the digitalization of the ports, for Nigeria to achieve efficiency.
Bello spoke at a workshop, themed: “Trade Facilitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic Challenges, Lessons and the Way forward.”
He said: “It is pertinent to emphasise that the gaps experienced during this COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for adoption of e-commerce in the country, especially the digitalization of the port to reduce human-to-human contact, and adopt paper-based transactions as the norm for international trade interface and port operations.”
On the lessons learnt during the pandemic, Bello said Nigeria must be proactive in preparation for unexpected eventuality.
He underscored the importance of shipping, towering far above aviation, noting that while the world shut down aviation for fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus, it could not afford to rest the global shipping sector.
“It is common knowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented disruption to international trade and the global economy at large, as world production and consumption were scaled back across the globe. To combat the global health crisis, the role of international trade cannot be underestimated.
“During the lockdown, there was the compelling need to move medicine and nutrition across the world to save lives and livelihoods. It is in recognition of the essential role of international trade in combating the pandemic that the ships were scheduled to continue to move, the ports were kept open and all the port agencies and port service providers were in place to ensure that cargo was processed and delivered to consignees,” he stated.
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