The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has revealed that measures and investments are being undertaken to create a fully digital ecosystem in port locations across Nigeria by 2025.
During a presentation on the organisation’s “Digital 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, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, Acting Managing Director of the NPA, revealed efforts going into the authority’s smart port transformation agenda.
This agenda seeks to utilise paperless, time-saving, and cost-efficient port operations.
“At the NPA, our goal is to leverage on technology to close the gap between us and the major international ports. A digitalised port helps in making better informed operational decisions, increased efficiency, improve collaboration amongst stakeholders, lower port costs, and ultimately help to meet the ever-increasing customer expectations in a timely manner,” said Bello-Koko.
The NPA’s new strategy focuses on enterprise computing and a heavy dependence on network infrastructure, along with a centralised and shared database.
The adoption of a phased ICT deployment aims to help the port authority achieve a fully integrated port operating system in order for it to foster relationships with internal and external stakeholders, streamline its internal business processes, make use of high-end smart technologies, and utilise data for better decision making.
Mr Michael Luguje, President of the PMAWCA and Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, described the conference theme of ‘Digitalised Port as a Model of Port Efficiency’ as “very relevant because more than ever, COVID-19 has indeed taught us that, we live in a very fragile world. Within a space of time, the dynamics with regards to world trade and our ways of life can change dramatically.
“The impact of COVID-19 cannot be swept under the carpet so easily. Countries are now rebuilding again after many years of economic progress has been wiped off. As leaders in the maritime field entrusted with the responsibilities of facilitating trade and economic progress for our respective countries, we are here to have a serious discussion on how we can continue to adjust in the face of this unwavering virus and how to plan and operate our ports to meet future challenges.
“The main aim is to explore diverse ways of using less to achieve more through the use of smart technologies.”
A five-year plan is now being implemented at the NPA for the attainment of a fully digitalised port system in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Ports Authority also previously signed a collaborative agreement with the Port of Antwerp and the APEC Maritime Training Center to further expand Nigeria’s port development. The collaboration mainly covers training and consulting and underlines the leading role the Port of Antwerp plays in West Africa.