What is a smart port?
Technology has taken over everything that we do and has a great impact n day to day activities. One of the major activities that can be seen in major cities all over the world is dealings at the port. Especially if a city has access to a port, you can always find the port to be busy with deliveries and docking. The intensity of the work combined with the increase in demand by the importers and exporters ports are working continuously to be as efficient as possible.
This is being done completely with the hopes of increasing productivity to cater to more deliveries and make way for new shipments. There are many ways in which a port can be called smart. However, regardless of the method being used, the outcome that is targeted is simply to automate as much of the process as possible.
Port technologies in Nigeria
In the past, Nigeria has been seen following a very traditional way of managing its ports. However, with new techniques being introduced, it has seen major changes and planned many future prospects. The Nigerian ports are categorized as Eastern ports, which are more targeted towards handling oil and gas imports. At the same time, the Western ports handle other shipments necessary for the economy of the country.
Together the ports make up the complete shipping requirements of the country. Nigeria understood long ago the needing for upgrading its port facilities which is why it introduced the Privatization and Commercialization act of 1999 and made sure that the ports were made more efficient by giving them commercial status.
Along with making the port more accessible and efficient to increase productivity. The government also made many changes to create green ports. This also allowed the ports to be much more sustainable. There are many acts, such as the NPA Act, that are working to control pollution at ports and the wharves. Due to many areas of the port being leased to the private sector, there are considerable adaptions to heavy machinery and technology being used to speed up work.
Future technological prospects in Nigeria
The Nigerian Ports Authority has had a couple of busy years in the near future as it works to come up with a plan to fully digitize many port locations in Nigeria. For sure, it won’t be easy, and a lot of work has to be done, but at the least, the stones have been set in place. The digital road-map was laid out by Mohammed Bello Koko, the acting managing director.
A lot was said in the PMAWCA’s council meeting as the organization aimed to create a systematic approach to the port operations. The plan highlighted the plan to go paperless and digitize port operations completely for an enhanced experience. The meeting also highlighted the many benefits associated with having schedules and data online.
The COVID era has put a major dent in the five-year plan, but nevertheless, the government authorities are still on plan and are working to turn Nigerian ports ‘Smart’.