Nigeria’s seaport economic regulator, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has set new haulage rates for truckers from the country’s seaports.
The NSC operates with a presidential declaration as the seaport economic regulator. The council says the decision is to have a comprehensive and standard haulage rates for road transportation services in the country.
The council presented the new rates to stakeholders at a conference in Lagos, saying the move was to “establish a well-structured and standardized haulage rates and services for the road transport sector for stakeholders’ business plan and economic decision making.”
Hassan Bello, executive secretary of NSC, stated that the rates were benchmarks that are still subject to negotiation.
According to him, one should be able to determine the cost of haulage before approaching the road transport owners.
“It gladdens my heart that there is some level of empirical effort to establish the rates. We have the scientific efforts and the fixed costs. We have seen the inflationary trends and many other variables used to determine the cost of haulage. This is important if we want to achieve the ease of doing business and transparency. People can quote less than what is set, as long as they don’t exceed the upper limit. These would guide trade, e-commerce and the investors in the international scene,” he said.
Commenting on the rates, Anthonia Ekpo, director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, expressed delight at the development, noting that the standard rates would also be useful for the operators to plan in the haulage business.
“With this, the transport owners know what it costs and can project the profit margins in the business from one state to another. It’s a very commendable thing that the NSC has done this,” she noted.
Noting that the state of the roads was one of the critical issues to affect the regulation of haulage rates, Ekpa revealed that the Federal Government was concerned about the issue as the government was encouraging public-private partnerships (PPP) and concessioning major roads to private persons and organizations.
Bello also noted that the NSC would also have to apply certain sanctions for those who would exceed the set limit, adding that the council was also looking to ensure the sector adopts insurance.
“I’m happy that we have a director from the Ministry of Transportation … Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has set comprehensive haulage rates for all road regulated transport sector to the economy and the positive outlook it will give the country. We have seen that the costs were arranged to be zone and state specific. This is because the cost of certain variables in Lagos would be different from what is obtainable in Port Harcourt or Calabar. All the parameters have been put into consideration especially the state of the roads and the charges collected by the local governments in several states” he said.
The NSC also revealed plans to carry out similar surveys to ascertain standard haulage rates from dry ports in Nigeria to neighbouring countries for cross-border trade and economic planning.