The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has commenced a total digital manifest management regime for vessel calling at all Nigerian ports.

According to the NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the physical transactions concerning sailing certificates and cargo manifest processing are being phased out completely as stakeholders are encouraged to fully embrace the Agency’s initiative by visiting the NIMASA portal.

Jamoh said that automation is aimed at further reducing human interaction, improving efficiency and block revenue leakages.

“In line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business, we are committed to improving turnaround time of vessels, reduction of human interface in the majority of our transactions with our stakeholders and this is in our bid to ensure transparency and professionalism that the sector requires to grow.

“We have improved our operational relationship with our sister Agencies, as we speak, we have made tremendous progress in our determination to convey sailing clearance for Vessels to the NPA electronically. We also receive and process manifests electronically. This has improved efficiency leading to improvement in the turn-around-time of vessels calling at the nation’s ports,” Jamoh said.

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Jamoh said the agency has ensured the process of submitting and processing manifests is reduced from 72 hours to five hours for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) and larger container vessels, while it would only take two hours or less for smaller vessels

The NIMASA DG noted that the benefits that would be derived from the total digitalisation of all the Agency’s processes expected to be completed by 2022 would be enormous not just for the stakeholders, but for the country at large, including helping to improve the balance of trade and commercial shipping activities in Nigeria.