In previous editions, the Sierra Leone Ports Authority was put in spotlight with regards the transformation processes at the Port which includes the ongoing privatization exercise that saw the Sierra Leone Ports Authority as a landlord, the establishment of a customer hotline service, the developing a harmonized process map of clearing consignments at the port and the Electronics Single Window System (ESWS) and the ongoing infrastructural projects which include the extension of the quay, the resurfacing of the terminal, the rehabilitation of the exit road, the construction of the multipurpose building at the Targrin Ferry Terminal and the installation of fenders and bollards at the quay terminal.
In this edition, this medium will take you through the Port of Freetown as Customer Friendly Port where the Sierra Leone Ports Authority has premium on customer service delivery.
Customer satisfaction in terms of efficient service delivery has been the primary focus of the management of the Sierra Leone ports authority. To actualize this dream, the authority has lined up series of initiatives in collaboration with the president’s Delivery team on Sierra Leone post Ebola Recovery plan to foster trade facilitation, create a customer friendly atmosphere and transparency and accountability in the port operational processes and above all to make the port a customer friendly port.
A Customer Service and a Help Desk have been set up for customers to call for enquiries and complaints. The need for a customer call center at the port was obvious taking into consideration the specialized service the port is offering to the public. The hotline has both urgent-responds and referral calls wherein if the call agents for instance do not respond to your call at instant, he/she will refer your call to a superior authority at the port who will furnish them with the necessary information for onward transmission to the caller.
The rehabilitation of the exit road of the port of Freetown has been completed to ease the traffic congestion at the port.
There have been so many bottlenecks in the clearance process of the port. A harmonized process map for clearing of consignments at the port and reconciled reporting format have been developed at the port to make clearing process very simple.
|Scanning facility at the Port
The port is now ISPS code compliance. The port is boasting of sophisticated fire engines that do not only serve the port but the entire Cline Town community.
The port is marching towards the single window of clearing consignments at the port. Preliminary is ongoing for establishing the Single Window System.
This development in terms of customer satisfaction has received wild acclamation.
The Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization SulaimanKabba Koroma has during a familiarization visit at the port with SLPA management team said the transformation exercise at the sea port is unstoppable.
“The Port is currently undergoing a phenomenal transforming and this transformation is unstoppable.”
He commended the leadership of the port whom he said without their support the transformation would never have materialized
On the hotline services, a preliminary work in a form of customer services feedback survey was undertaken by the Authority to assess customer’s feedbacks on the services and facilities of the port of Freetown.
Feedbacks from Ports users concerning importing, exporting and clearing/forwarding goods at the ports were obtained.
The SLPA Head of Media and Customer Relations SarrahKondonpiyo Sesay had expressed optimism on the survey. “The survey will be used as a point of references in enhancing transparency and accountability, efficient and effective services delivery; help Ports operations to understand the perceptions of the Ports users about Ports operations; help Ports operators to clarify Ports operations to the public in case there is misconception about Ports operations”.
The customers Hotline is an important pillar in the President Recovery priority initiatives assigned to SLPA. Sierra Leone heavily relies on import and the President, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma saw it necessary to including the Ports for such recovery that till help revamp the economy of the country.
During the opening ceremony of the awareness rising campaign on customer hotline services, SLPA General Manager, Abu B. Bangura told participants that the Customer Hotline initiative was part of the Presidential Delivery initiatives assigned to the ports to ensure openness and transparency in the Ports operations.
He said the services in intended to break the chain of communication barrier between the operators of the Ports and the customers.
“There was lack of communication between the Ports operators and the customers. This to a very large extent created suspicion in the processes and operational system of the Ports in terms of services delivery”.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
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