By Steve Agbota
Federal government agencies under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) have reached an agreement to digitize their internal processes, while continuing to focus on updating the national single window regime in the nation’s transportation sector. This agreement was reached during the 4th Meeting of Heads of Maritime Agencies in Lagos.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Attorney Sam Nwakohu, revealed that full automation of the internal processes of the various agencies represented is a requirement. a prerequisite to achieving the objectives of the planned national single window regime in the sector.
Nwakohu, who chaired the meeting, said the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the various agencies agreed on timelines to achieve full automation of internal processes.
“We have agreed that all agencies under the Department of Transport should achieve full automation as a priority. This process will be well coordinated and we have also given ourselves deadlines to achieve this,” he said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said that NIMASA’s automation processes have reached over 80%.
Jamoh also gave assurances that NIMASA’s commitment to automation is to reduce the human interface, while plugging revenue leaks in the system.
“In accordance with the Federal Government‘s Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business, we are committed to full automation to reduce the human interface in the majority of our dealings with our stakeholders with the aim of ensuring transparency and the professionalism that the sector needs to grow.
“The aim is to align with the national single window initiative, when all the internal processes of the different agencies have been concluded,” he said.
Commenting on the high freight rate occasioned by war risk insurance placed on ships bound for Nigeria; the DG of NIMASA said that the Agency would focus on raising awareness, while seeking the international community for a review? adding that this decision is linked to the removal of Nigeria from the world list of pirates.
“It may interest you to know that at the end of this quarter, i.e. the end of June, we would have recorded another significant milestone because we have not yet recorded a single attack or incident of maritime insecurity on our waters. Therefore, we will continue to advocate for the complete removal of war risk insurance by the international community, so that Nigerians can benefit from it,” Jamoh said.
It can be recalled that the first edition of the meeting was in 2020, with the aim of strengthening the synergy and cooperation of parastatals under the tutelage of the FMOT, which is aimed at a more effective and efficient maritime sector.