In a collaborative effort to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of Nigerian ports, the Ministers of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, Transportation Minister Senator Said Ahmed Alkali, and Customs CG Bashir Adeniyi convened on Monday. Their consensus was clear: the practice of physically inspecting cargoes at ports must be phased out in favor of modern technologies, such as scanners.
Recognizing the significance of embracing technological advancements, the ministers aimed to address the longstanding issue of ports congestion, a crucial step towards ensuring the efficiency and competitiveness of Nigerian ports on the global stage.
The Customs CG, Bashir Adeniyi, received a mandate to enforce the utilization of scanners at the ports, underlining the government’s commitment to streamlining cargo inspection processes. Additionally, the ministers encouraged private investors to participate in deploying and maintaining these scanners, signaling a broader call for partnerships to modernize the nation’s ports infrastructure.
The meeting, convened at the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and initiated by Minister Adegboyega Oyetola, marked a concerted effort to align strategies across relevant government agencies. Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), participated virtually in the discussions.
In a notable decision, the ministers agreed to retain the fixed scanner at Apapa, with provisions for the NRC to bypass it during essential infrastructure development projects. This pragmatic approach demonstrates a commitment to balancing technological upgrades with necessary infrastructure adjustments, recognizing the dynamic nature of the port environment.
The collective push for technological integration and private sector involvement signifies a proactive stance towards addressing longstanding challenges within Nigeria’s maritime sector, aiming for a future where efficiency and competitiveness define the nation’s port operations.