‘New invoicing system to lift NPA’s cargo-based revenue by 52%’

 Habib

Habib

THE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has advised stakeholders to take advantage of its ongoing automation processes.

Meanwhile, the National Vice President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Chairman Dala Inland Dry Port, Kano,  Ahmad Rabiu has commended NPA for the initiative.

Rabiu, in a statement said: “We are happy with the introduction of Revenue Invoicing Management Systems (RIMS) by the NPA.  We say big congratulations to Nigerian Shippers, Cargo owners and shipping lines. It is an excellent initiative that will improve efficiency and save so much time and costs. NPA need to keep it up. With a combination of this initiative and the robust change process of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, we shall soon be happy and be proud of our country and our ports”.

Rabiu added: “We are proud of the NPA. Some ports in neighboring countries like Cotonou are already ‘crying’ due to FOREX (Foreign Exchange) control measures. We must support the NPA and do more as Nigerians to block revenue leakages and distortions, improve efficiency and block channels for corruption in our ports.”

According to the NPA, the new invoicing system is aimed at accelerating transactions, boost revenue and ensure transparency.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new Revenue Invoicing Management System (RIMS) in Lagos, NPA’s Executive Director Finance and Administration, Olumide Oduntan, said the new platform would improve cargo-based revenue by 52 per cent in one year and 65 per cent subsequently.

The agency had in February and September 2014, introduced Electronic Payment System and the Electronic Ship Entry Notice (E-Sen) respectively “as a first step towards full automation of our processes”.

He explained that the e-ship entry notice initiative has improved Gross Tonnage (GRT) based revenue by 38 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

Explaining further, Oduntan said the deployment of e-SEN and RIMS Solution has blocked all leakages in “our operational activities by 95 per cent and the remaining five per cent would be blocked upon the launch of a command and control centre which is expected to go live by the end of November, this year.”
Meanwhile, a prominent source who preferred to remain anonymous explained that with full automation of NPA, revenue from the ports would exceed projections.

The source said: “With the introduction of Revenue Invoicing Management Systems (RIMS), the current management of NPA under the leadership of Habib Abdullahi will be able to track where the revenue is leaking and it was based on his commitment that they have been able to achieve over 95 per cent of their annual budget in the last three years.”

The current management of NPA, according to the source is doing a lot to position the nation’s sea ports for the hub status, especially the Lagos ports through wreck removal and constant dredging campaign.

The source said: “To double its revenue and surpass the budget target, what NPA needs now is the trade facilitation role. NPA has put its house in order with the cadre of the people that are currently leading the agency. There is need for the Federal Government to ensure that it is very easy for any of the land-locked countries in West and Central Africa to know that the goods that are passing through Nigerian ports are safe, secured and will be delivered wherever they are needed.”

Addressing stakeholders, Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi said the ongoing automation process would ensure business growth and high performance.

Abdullahi said: “This is evident from statistics which have shown that cargo throughput increased from 46,150,518 metric tons in 2006 to 86,603,903 metric tons in 2014 indicating an 87 per cent increase during that period which is due in part to our continued efforts at improving processes”.

He said the introduction of this system has the potential to improve NPA’s service offering, “Improve our partner relationship, create efficient payment method, maximize revenue and minimize loss associated with fraud and revenue leakage”.
 
He said ports operations involve a network of processes and documentations along the chain of activities from the port of loading to the port of destination.

According to Abdullahi, effective coordination of the activities makes the integration of the processes through automation absolutely necessary in order to facilitate seamless operations thereby reducing both costs and time.
 
The NPA boss who advised stakeholders to key into the process of automation said NPA is presenting the Revenue Invoicing Management System and Customer Portal that will   lower operational cost and shorten the time for documentation.

He said: “These platforms fully integrate the electronic flow of information for business–to–customer and business–to–business streams real-time, with higher availability and flexible architecture.

“The platforms are also fully integrated with all our existing solutions such as Oracle Financials, Oracle Human Capital Management, NPA Pay direct via Interswitch and Electronic Ship Entry Notice (eSEN).

“The Customer Self Service Portal on the other hand provides a platform for our customers to initiate and conclude their business process with NPA and also communicate with us. The benefits accruing from this portal includes amongst others:
*Improved customer service delivery;
*Easy access to customer accounts status;
*View of all transactions and status in respect of bills;
*Electronic upload of manifest and
*E-invoice and e-receipt generation.

“Similarly, our Billing Application, some modules of which are already operational in all port locations, will soon proceed to the next stage.

“Currently, it covers payment processes in areas such as Lease Fees, Service Boats, Passenger boats, General Bills (Jetties and Trawlers), and Oil Terminal Dues (OTD)/Compulsory Pilotage Rates (CPR). The next stage will cover Throughput Fees, Estate Bills and Provisional/Final Bills”, said Abdullahi.
 
He told maritime stakeholders at the event that the initiative unveiled today is complimentary to the previous ones “which will make Nigeria Ports witness a further growth in its performance indices, another step towards being the leading Port in Africa”.

In his presentation, the Executive Director, Marine & Operation, David Omonibeke, an engineer, said the entire process is designed to ensure efficiency at the nation’s ports.

For the first quarter of 2015, 5,139 oceans going vessels with Gross Tonnage (GT) of 61,990,999 called at Nigerian Ports compared with GT of 57,034,338 recorded in 2014.

Lagos Port Complex (LPC) within the period handled 372 vessels with GT of 9,298,761, indicating an increase of 10.6 per cent over 8,407,233 GT achieved in 2014.

In a related development, Tin Can Island Port handled 435 vessels with GT  of 12,232,575, up by 8.15 per cent over 11,310,751 GT recorded in the corresponding period of 2014.

NPA’s General Manager in charge of Public Affairs, Capt Iheanacho Ebubeogu, explained in a statement that Calabar Port complex recorded a total GT of 958,288, an increase of 11.67 per cent over 858,174 GT in 2014, “leaving the port with 100 Ocean going vessels in the period under review”.

Explaining further, Ebubeogu said: “Rivers Port complex recorded a total GT of 1,475,864, indicating 14.45 per cent increase over 1,288,524 GT achieved in the corresponding period of 2014. A total of 132 ocean going vessels were handled within the period under review.

“Onne Port complex recorded a GT of 12,768,834, reflecting an increase of 12.99 per cent over 11,300,433 GT  recorded in the corresponding period of 2014 with 1,025 vessels handled within the period. Delta Port Complex recorded 1,643,346 GT, with 2,816 vessels handled. The gross tonnage of crude oil tankers recorded within the period showed a 12.21 per cent increase over first quarter of 2014”.

Cargo throughput including crude oil shipment  recorded by the NPA in the first quarter of 2015 stood at 49,304,407 million metric tonnes, showing an increase of 7.20 per cent over 45,994,755 metric tonnes achieved within the same period of 2014.
 
Breakdown of cargo throughput showed that:
General Cargo was 6, 469,022metric tons, an increase of 6.10 per cent over 6,097,318metric tons in the same period of 2014 while Dry Bulk Cargo stood at 2,276,358 metric tonnes;

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment was 5,545,946metric tons showing a Growth of 0.37 per cent over 5,525,494 metric tons figure of 2014.    



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