BY MIKE OCHONMA
The Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT) is collaborating with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to organize a sensitization programme on some functions of the council.
The programme, which will be chaired by Magdalene Ajani, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, is scheduled to hold Friday, 22 July, 2022 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, by 9.00am.
The theme of the programme, “Port Economic Regulator- NSC in Focus”, is aimed at enlightening the stakeholders and the general public on the mandate of Nigerian Shippers’ Council as port economic regulator, said Rakiya Dhikru-Yagboyaju, head, public relations, NSC.
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Bongo Adi, a professor and maritime economist, will present a paper titled “Promoting Competitiveness and Compliance in Nigerian Maritime Industry”.
Regulated service providers, CEOs of regulatory agencies, maritime experts, lawyers, organized private sector and shippers, NCS and other stakeholders are expected to attend the sensitization programme.
Recall that the port reform programme of 2006 transferred the ownership of ports to private investors. In the reform, the NPA was the landlord and the technical regulator for the ports while there was no agency in the maritime sector given the mandate of port economic regulator.
This brought about irregularities in the shipping sector. The anomalies include the imposition of different tariff headings by terminal operators and shipping lines/agents, lack of holding bays for containers, shortage of modern cargo handling equipment, etc.
In order to address the anomalies, the maritime stakeholders sought the appointment of a regulator for the ports. On February 14, 2014, the Federal Government pronounced Nigerian Shippers’ Council as interim port regulator. Shippers’ Council had before that always protected the interest of shippers. In 2015, the Federal Government declared NSC as the port economic regulator.
As the port economic regulator, NSC is saddled with the responsibility to institute effective regulation at ports, working with other government agencies. The Council has over the years also embarked on various initiatives to bring sanity to the ports.