Seaport Billing System is Software designed to handle time and billing tracking as well as invoicing customers for services and products as well as monitoring an individual water transportation bill. It can track the hours worked by employees as well as expenses associated with projects or clients. Most time and billing software applications also create billing cycle reports to display information such as hours worked, expenses incurred, how much to bill clients, and which clients owe money for specific projects. To ease the operation of Cargo handling in our sea ports, research took up this study by critically understanding the work, procedure involved, analyzed of the various steps and at the same time detecting problem in the present system and designing a new system that has solution to the problem of the existing system.
As a prelude to other parts of this study, this chapter will discuss the background upon which this study was initiated, the statement of problems that led to this study, the aim and objectives of the study. Others are significance of the study, scope of work, limitation of the study and definition of technical terms.
1.2 Background of Study
Nigerian Port Authority is the agency established to oversee the affairs of seaports in Nigeria. This agency has many departments saddled with the difficult responsibility including billing. The billing system is presently handled by the marketing department of the agency. The marketing department of the port took over the function of revenue billing from the traffic department in the 80’s.
Their main function is to raise customer’s bills of all statutory charges against port users for the services rendered to them. These services includes Rental period at the number of days the consignment in within the port vicinity, NPA shore handling, transfer service, documentation, terminal delivery value added tax (VAT) and miscellaneous. The role at which the bills are prepared with the increasing number of customer is insignificant. There are procedural ways in which these bills are being prepared. They are the provisional bills of vessels, the final bills of vessels and the miscellaneous bills. A staff has to raise as many bills as the number of the customer increases: more importantly, delays bring extra cost on the importer, and this makes the importer feel disappointed when they come to collect their raised bills.
Investigation by this study reveals that the billing system in Nigeria Port Authority has been plagues by several factors based on the current manual process by the use of the Draft import Debit and import Debit. These factors includes: Fills and records are not properly kept, Errors are easily made and hardly detected, A lot of time is wasted to prepare bills, Information is not well documented and Security of files or document is not granted.
It is based on this background that the study was initiated with the rear of designing a Computer Based Seaport Billing System that will help solve some of the identified challenges.
1.3 Statement of Problem
Investigation by this study reveals the following challenges:
- Fills and records are not properly kept.
- Errors are easily made and hardly detected
- A lot of time is wasted to prepare bills
- Information is not well documented and Security of files or document is not granted.
1.4 Aim and Objective of Study
The aim of this study is to develop a Computer Based Seaport Billing System that will handle the bills raised for various customers. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out as follows to design and implement an application software that will:
- Properly document customer records and security features to safeguard files or document.
- Totally eliminate the errors associated in customer bills.
- Provide proper customer fills and records.
- Reduce the amount of time required to prepare a bill by developing an ease and efficient automated system.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This system when completed and implemented it will help reduce the amount of time required to prepare a bill by developing an ease and efficient automated system. This project will be beneficial to individuals using the seaport transport system. Besides, the study will serve as reference material for subsequent researcher in the field or related topics.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work will concentrate on Computer Based Seaport Billing System using onne port, river state as a case study. The proposed system developed will only provide information for billing like customer information, report and record of individual’s records, advice and disclaimer alert for customers as well as seaport billing system officials.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
During the course of this study, many things militated against its completion, some of which are:
- Time Constraint: The time frame given to accomplish this project was very short due to school academic calendar and it was carried out under pressure which made the researcher not to implement some necessary features.
- Establishment Policies: Establishment policies posed a serious limitation as most staffs are not ready to release information needed for this project work. There were lots of information needed from the staffs of this institution to enhance the study which took them time to release or they did not release at all for security purposes, hence the scope was reduced.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Consignee: consignee is the entity who is financially responsible (the buyer) for the receipt of a shipment. Generally, but not always, the consignee is the same as the receiver.
Consignment: This is the act of consigning, the act of giving over to another person or agent's charge, custody or care any material or goods but retaining legal ownership until the material or goods are sold.