The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has issued a one-month registration ultimatum to regulated service providers in the maritime industry to avoid facing sanctions including; delisting, sealing off business premises amongst other disciplinary actions.
Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the port economic regulatory agency, gave the notification during the recent sensitisation clinic attended by shipping companies, terminal operators, inland container dry ports and other regulated service providers in Lagos.
Bello, who was represented by Cajetan Agu, director, Consumer Affairs Department of NSC, bemoaned that since the first sensitisation clinic that took place on January 31, 2019 where participants raised the issue of high registration fee being an addition to cost of doing business which led to its downward review, only few regulated service providers had registered.
The registration, Bello explained, is in line with part 2, section 41 of the NSC Port Economic Regulation of 2015 and some of the notable benefits attached to the registration, according to him, include regulatory incentives, creating a pool of operators in the port sector, economic planning, ability to monitor the conduct of providers, free access to complaint mechanism and platform for consultation.
Dwelling further on the purpose of the registration, he stated that when appointed a port regulator, assignments were given to the NSC to create an effective regulatory regime at the ports for the control of tariffs, rates, charges and other economic services. The NSC, he added, were tasked with expressing these functions as prescribed under Part 2,section 4 of the Economic Regulation of 2015 which required the registration of the listed regulated service providers.
He however noted that the service providers would be given the chance of first and second warnings before implementing the aforementioned disciplinary measures and sanctions.
He enjoined the unregistered service providers to utilise the one month grace period issued by the agency rather than take its persuasion as a form of weakness, as failure to comply with the directive would result in the implementations of the sanctions by the agency.