Nigerian Shippers Council seeks collaboration with government regulatory agencies
The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has expressed its dire need to collaboration and synergize with other government regulatory agencies and stakeholders so as to create an enabling environment for it to actualize its mandate.
The Shippers Council, which is known as the protector of the interstate of Nigerian Shippers, as well as Importers/Exporters, has been saddled with an added responsibility as the “Economic Regulator of Nigerian Seaports.”
Zonal Coordinator for North Central Zone of the NSC, Maurice Effanga, who was represented by Assistant Director Operations of the Council, Chinyere Osere, disclosed this at a seminar on “Refocusing on the Role In Confronting the Barriers In International Trade As a Balance Against Economic Instability,” which held in Jos on Thursday.
He said, as economic regulator of the ports, he assured that the Council will regulate the commercial activities of all operators in ports industry.
According to him, the seminar was not only seek to expose them to various packaging options for commercial exports, but was to expose the fact that, apart from oil, the federal government can generate much funds from shipping activities if all unnecessary barriers are removed.
In a paper titled “Role of Government Regulatory Agencies in Enhancing Ports Operations,” and presented by Mr. A.A. Makinde, who is Director for Inland Transport Services Department (ITSD) of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Lagos, he said as the Ports Economic Regulator, the role is to consult, coordinate, moderate and harmonize the various processes and procedures with a view to achieving best practices, efficiency and effectiveness in our ports, in order to make our ports the ‘Trade Hub’ of the sub-region.
The ITSD’s director maintained that, as the Ports Economic Regulator, the NSC has the mandate to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders in the sector, stressing that, the Council has been performing various functions that border on enhancing ports operations even before the issuance of the executive order on the ease of doing business.
He reiterated that the NSC needs the collaboration and synergy with other government regulatory agencies and stakeholders to enable it actualize its mandate of making Nigerian ports the sub-regional Hub and International Logistics Centre.
Said he, “If we must have something to pass on to the succeeding generation, then it is time for all stakeholders to collaborate and synergize with a view to charting out the road-map for a new Port Order for our nation,” he stated.
He called on the NSC to remain open, independent, neutral and consultative by ensuring that all decisions are based on the ‘buy-in’ and ‘ownership’ of stakeholders.
Mr. Makinde said, other roles of the NSC are to set up, monitor and enforce standard of service delivery, ensure stability, accessibility and adequacy of services, and to encourage competition and guard against ‘abuse of monopoly’ or ‘dominant market’ position.
According to him, they are also expected to provide guidelines on tariffs and charges, setting minimum and maximum levels, in order to guard against arbitrariness, reduce high cost of doing business and prevent inflationary effect on the economy, and to promote free market-entry and exit.
In his remarks, chairman of the NSC, Gabriel Ad’Ofikwu, said, “Our expectation is a review of government efforts in reversing these evident setbacks and, ultimately, stabilizing our economy by returning health to our internal productivity and fostering increased activities, especially in our export trade. The hope is that import trade will be a compliment of our export trade, in order to maintain favorable national trade balance, thereby stabilizing our economy.”