Rotimi Amaechi Minister calls for automation of ports to reduce congestion

Mubarak said that with the project, traffic would be eradicated and freight transportation information would be maintained.

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Rotimi Amaechi

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The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi on Friday said there was need to automate the Nigerian seaports to reduce congestion and corruption.

Amaechi said this during the project presentation by the National Freight Information and Transportation Hub (NAFITH) in Abuja.

He said that the proposed project was aimed at decongesting the ports to enable residents of Apapa have free flow of movement within

the area.

According to him, if the project can work independently outside the national single window, it can be approved.

"We need to automate the seaports so that corruption and congestion can be drastically reduced.

"I am looking at us decongesting the seaports, which is very important to us now; we want Apapa residents to be able to pass through Apapa without traffic.

"We need to bring Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to the table so that we will know if the project can work independently without the single window.

"Because we are already having issues with custom on the national single window, I know it will be resolved but for now if you can work independently without it, it would be approved,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the minister as saying.

Amaechi, further stated that the 15 months proposed for the completion of the project was too long, adding that it should be reduced to five months.

Speaking Earlier, the Director of Strategy, NAFITH, Mr Saneer Mubarak, said the project was under International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

He said that, "NAFITH implements and operates a Truck Control System (TCS) that controls the entry and flow of trucks to and from the port.’’

Mubarak said that they were set to replicate what had been done in other parts of the world in the Apapa seaport with the approval from

the ministry and other relevant agencies.

He said it is a 40 million dollar project which would be completed in 15 months and will create 1,600 jobs for Nigerians.

Mubarak said that with the project, traffic would be eradicated and freight transportation information would be maintained.

The Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello said the presentation was one of the many areas of automating the ports and making them modern and competitive.

He said that the project proposed by NAFITH and IFC, the investment arm of World Bank, was on a comprehensive traffic management system for the ports and to modernise them.

"Modernising the ports in Nigeria would block revenue leakage, stop corruption and make ports operation transparent.

"The project is called comprehensive traffic management system for the ports to decongest not only the ports in Apapa and Tin Can but this is the solution that could be applied for other ports in Nigeria.

"When you modernise a port, you will block the revenue leakage, you will stop corruption, and everything will be transparent,’’ NAN quotes the executive secretary as saying.

Bello, however, said the NSC would work with NPA to ensure that the solution to decongest the ports was comprehensively applied to facilitate trade and generate more revenue.

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