By Richards Adeniyi
A maritime expert, Dr Obiora Madu, recently advocated the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFI) in the clearing of cargo at the nation’s ports.
Madu, who made the suggestion in an interview the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said the unending traffic gridlock that had characterised the clearing of cargoes necessitated the call, said gridlock at the nation’s premier port in Apapa, Lagos was worrisome.
He said RFI could examine 50 containers in minutes, adding that the device had been working well in Malaysia, a country he noted had semblance of shipping operations with Nigeria.
“This system has been forwarded sometime in 2018 to the federal government and the government advertised for bidders from private operators.
“It is quite surprising that up till now, nothing has been heard of the process and the country is suffering from traffic gridlock at the Apapa ports.
“As a stakeholder, it is regrettable to see innovative measures that can improve service delivery in the system abandoned.
‘That project is a product of a comparative analysis of maritime countries carried out with tax payers` fund by a committee,’’ he said.
He expressed optimism that the device, if administered, would end the man hour lost to cargo clearing transaction that had kept cost of doing business high.
According to the expert, it will also eliminate the attendant negative effects on prices of goods in the market.
He appealed to agencies in charge of port administration in the country to streamline operations and bring the device to fruition in order to make the cargo clearing easier.
NAN reports that physical examination of cargo at the nation’s ports slows cargo clearing process resulting in traffic gridlock among other things disadvantages.