NPA launches e-SEN platform to better international trade

L-R: Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Engr. David Omonibeke; Board Member, Baba Agundi; Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi and Executive Director Finance and Administration,  Olumide Oduntan at the launch of the electronic ship entry notice by the NPA in Lagos.

 For improved port efficiency; elimination of delays, improved turn-around time of vessels, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday launched the Electronic Ship Entry Notice (e-SEN) platform as part of activities marking two years stewardship of the present management.
Giving account of management’s performance in the last two years, Managing Director of the NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi, said the e-SEN was part of the drive to use technology in improving services at the Nigerian ports as well as improve revenue generation by the Authority.

He said the e-SEN had also integrated an e-payment system of application fee to eliminate human interface which could cause unnecessary delays and have a ripples effect on the entire trade chain.
“We have integrated an online payment platform on the e-SEN application, to simplify the payment processes to NPA and enhance the provision of a link to the world economy, hereby encouraging international trade.”
Abdullahi noted that “the Ship Entry Notice manual process was fraught with challenges, such as duplication of requests, slow response to requests due to delayed verification and validation of ship data.”
According to him, stakeholders’ feedback revealed the inconvenience faced in traveling back and forth between designated SEN offices to pick up their SEN certificates and ports of discharge, loss of manpower hours in business and the risk of traveling.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr Olumide Oduntan, said the electronic payment system integrated with the e-SEN would ensure a seamless progress beneficial to the agents and to the NPA also.
He confirmed that the e-payment system for all port transactions had recorded great success as it had impacted positively on the cost of doing business at the nation’s ports.
“We are proud of what we have done because the automated system would block any envisaged leakages and increase our revenue. I can confidently say that the system is secured, so there is nothing to worry about.
“It is important also that we start the process first and see areas where improvements are needed, but we certain of its workability, just as we have seen with the e-payment system,” he said.
Making a brief presentation at the event, the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Engr. David Omonibeke, said the essence of the e-SEN was to improve efficiency for ships going to the berths in accordance with internationally-acceptable practice.
On its overall stewardship card, the managing director said port infrastructure were improved which allowed the biggest vessel to call at any port in West Africa (WAFMAX) with a length of 232.33 metres and capacity of 4,5000 TEUs, requiring a draught of 13.5 metres,  to start visiting the Lagos and Onne ports.
He said that in 2013 alone, a total of 3,091 personnel representing 90 per cent of the workforce of 4,245, were trained in different capacity building programmes.
On its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the NPA boss disclosed that they donated security boats to support the security operations of the Nigerian Navy, just as they also engaged in several other goodwill projects across the country.