KPA moves cargo services to e-Citizen portal

Cargo containers at the Port of Mombasa on January 11, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has moved its cargo handling services to the government e-Citizen portal as the state targets to shift some 5,000 services online.

Port users have applauded KPA's adoption technology, saying it will enhance efficiency in the operations.

Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) and the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA), the main port users, said the move is within the port’s charter which advocates for going paperless.

“The move will increase efficiency as we can track our transactions and identify whenever there’s a delay. We are asking the government to move to other state agencies to make our ports efficient to reduce costs of handling cargo,” said SCEA chief executive Gilbert Lagat.

Kifwa chairman Roy Mwanthi said, “This is commendable and draws services close to the digitised industry. This is the way to go.”

In a notice sent to port users on Tuesday, KPA said its page can be accessed by logging into their individual e-Citizen accounts before progressing to the government services module.

“The new KPA page provides visibility into the entire chain by employing technology to digitise both the operational and payment processes, offering real-time tracking for users to see all shipments and their documentation from a single access. User manual and various other simplified portal operation guidelines have been provided on the page to enable ease of use,” read the notice.

To reduce user challenges, KPA has provided room for physical training to facilitate easy transition to its clients.

This is one of the moves by the government to digitise at least 5,000 essential services to enhance revenue collection by onboarding more services to the e-Citizen system.

Ministries and state agencies that provide various services to the public this week are meeting in Nakuru to fast-track the digitisation of the services by June this year.

The gathering brings together 77 government-owned service providers, including Safaricom, and other major private firms that provide web-based payment platforms.

While opening the conference this week, Immigration and Citizen Services PS Prof Julius Bitok said that the assembling of different players was meant to ensure the digitisation drive was consultative and inclusive by factoring in the unique concerns of different service providers.

“What we are aspiring for is to provide an integrated payment system that will make government services faster, convenient, and user-friendly. We want a pentagon system that takes care of everyone’s interest while also moving as fast as possible to implement what the public truly deserves,” he said.

The Kenya Revenue Authority, KPA, Communication Authority, National Cereals and Produce Board, National Environment Management Authority, Kenya National Library Services and the Kenya Airports Authority are some of the main organisations expected to automate their services.

The Teachers Service Commission, the Judiciary, and other key employers are also expected to make their services available online.

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