The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday launched an additional electronic platform called Revenue Invoicing Management System (RIMS) and a self-service customer portal to enhance processes and block revenue leakages at the nation’s seaports.
NPA said the RIMS and self-service customers’ portal will complement the e-payment and e-Ship Entry Notice (e-SEN) it deployed last year.
Speaking at the launching of the new platform, the Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi said: “Today, we are presenting the Revenue Invoicing Management System and Customer Portal that are fully convergent and real time platforms for our processes, which will lower operational cost and shorten the time for documentation.”
The platforms, according to Abdullahi, will fully integrate the electronic flow of information for business–to–customer and business–to–business streams real-time, with higher availability and flexible architecture.
He said the platforms are also fully integrated with all NPA’s existing solutions such as Oracle Financials, Oracle Human Capital Management, NPA Paydirect via Interswitch and Electronic Ship Entry Notice (e-SEN).
“The introduction of this system has the potential to improve our service offering, improve our partner relationship, create efficient payment method, maximize revenue and minimize loss associated with fraud and revenue leakage.
“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,” Abdullahi said.
The NPA boss also stated that it was obvious that the introduction of these solutions will facilitate business growth with high performance and unlimited scalability of the operations of the organisation.
He explained that 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% increase during that period which is due in part to our continued efforts at improving processes.
He said: “In a nutshell, 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.
“May I use this opportunity to appreciate the co-operation of all our stakeholders to the collective goals and objectives of our organization and hope that with your continued support of our vision we will surely achieve our goal of being the leading port in Africa.
“Permit me to say that with the focus of the President of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, for monumental change in the country, the Authority will continue to introduce initiatives in line with best practices that will ensure that we remain efficient, transparent and accountable to our stakeholders and the good people of Nigeria.”
Also speaking at the launch, NPA’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Olumide Oduntan stated that the RIMS and self-service customer portal was fully integrated with existing e-solutions.
Oduntan said that the e-SEN introduced by NPA last year had increased the revenue of the agency by 36 percent from N67.5 billion in 2014 to N91.9 billion in 2015 as anticipated.
He said very few organisations in the private or public sectors can boast of the achievement made by the NPA in developing and deploying electronic payment solutions.
The launch was well attended by NPA top management staff including Zonal General Managers and Port Managers. Several shipping companies, terminal operators and freight forwarders among other stakeholders were well represented at the event.
By Pita Ochai