The National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Tony Iju Nwabunike said about 70 percent of the people using the port are yet to be conversant with modern tools that will make their businesses survive in future.
As a result, Nwabunike called on port users to keep themselves abreast of modern port regime and learn the use of modern electronics applications that may be adopted in clearing cargo at the port after the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Nwabunike said this in a statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday in Lagos.
He enjoined port users to upgrade themselves to be able to use modern online tools to avoid physical presence at the port.
According to him, the virtual meeting between operators and stakeholders is going to be the order of the day.
According to him; “At ANLCA, we have always advocated for a modern port regime with lesser amount of persons coming into port areas. This will now be a fast track drive because persons and businesses can meet virtually, submit, process and receive documents on-line without leaving the comforts of our homes and offices.
“While the port cannot be virtual, our presence can be. We have been partaking in Webinars where we communicate effectively, take business and corporate decisions without travelling.
“This is the new curriculum we are recommending as a basic training content for everyone wishing to use ports and other maritime services moving forward”.
According to him, the maritime industry could still generate more job opportunities if properly harnessed after Covid-19 pandemic.
Nwabunike note, that, despite the devastating job loss in other sectors of the economy due to Covid-19, there was hope for the maritime sector if properly tapped.
“We have watched the shocking and ongoing devastating impacts of the Corona Virus Disease on various sectors of the economy leading to massive job loss and general quake in the global economy.
“Though not completely insulated from effects of the pandemic, the Nigerian maritime industry holds potentials to serve as the country’s low hanging fruits for economic growth, stability and survival.
“Unlike the aviation industry where government agencies like Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) and Nigeria Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) including airlines are either mulling salary slash, workers lay off and shrinking in human capital needs, the maritime industry still holds the ace as indispensable mode for global trade and commerce,” he said.
Nwabunike further explained that rather than worry over likelihood of job loss, customs brokers, freight forwarders, truck owners, chandlers and other ancillary service providers in the industry should look towards keeping themselves abreast with virtual presence and operations in the ports.
He explained further that ANLCA independent research has shown that over 70 per cent of persons using the nation’s port are yet to understand some of the things they need for their professionalism in the future and business survival.
He, however, maintained that over 80 per cent of persons operating at the ports don’t even know the many unused business tools to advance their trade embedded inside the mobile phones they carry about.
“Unknown to them, they can set up virtual meetings to discuss all business related issues and perfect related bank transactions without moving around the cities bugged down by snail speed traffic,” he pointed out.
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