Following the launch of the Final Billing Regime (FBR), vessels calling Nigeria can now sail within 24 hours of the receipt of their application at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Director General has said even as Apapa Port flags vessel sail its top priority.
Dr Dakuku Peterside made this disclosure on Friday while presenting the 2019 progress report of the Agency activities to journalists at the 2020 maiden press conference in Lagos.
He said the FBR which was originally established to address issues bordering on billing lapses such as “double billing, overbilling, underbilling, bad debts” amongst others has also tackled the challenge of the protracted waiting period by vessels due to sail.
Explaining the development, the DG stated that the FBR grants vessels grace to sail once cargo(es) has been offloaded even as the vessel’s agent is expected to effect all outstanding payments within two weeks of the departure of the vessel.
He added that the FBR is structured to automatically shut down the transaction of all vessels that departed within two weeks.
He noted that with the new system, the dwell time of vessels and the extra cost of operations accrued to vessels from delays have reduced.
” The Final Billing Regime put an end to double billing, under billing and overbilling. And there is the closure of all vessels departed, within two weeks.
“In 24 hours max, you get the sailing clearance. That used to be protracted meanwhile you have no business at the Port.
“The cost of keeping vessels beyond one day is huge. The dwell time and operations cost are now reduced”, Dr Peterside stated.
In an earlier development, the Port Manager , Lagos Port Complex Apapa , Mrs Olufunmilayo Olotu upon resumption, had also flagged the reduction of vessel dwell time priority of her administration .
Some members of the berthing committee who spoke to us in private explained that every extra day a vessels spends cost huge money and showcases Nigeria as a place where the business environment is unfriendly, thus the commitment of the current administration of the premier port to the sailing of vessels as once due.
“Once NIMASA has granted clearance to sail, we have no business delaying vessels. Any extra day a vessel stays cost the vessel $2,500 and $1,500 on the subsequent days.”
The Apapa Port Manager, Mrs Olufunmilayo Olotu however noted that the positive development witnessed at the port is as a result of the support it has received from the Hadiza Bala Usman led Executive Management adding that excellence service delivery is cardinal for the Authority.
TNMN reports that whether weekend or week day, Apapa port now operates a system that flags sailing clearance for vessels as priority.