Established in 1978 by decree 13 NSC Act Cap. N133 LFN, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) was vested with the responsibility of protecting the interest of the Nigerian shippers both importers and exporters.
Since the establishment of the NSC over 30 years ago, there have been disagreements between stakeholders and the organisation on if it has effectively carried out its core mandate of protecting the interest of Nigerian importers and exporters.
While the organisation has argued that it has effectively executed its brief, certain stakeholders are of the view that the council has not performed very well.
NSC had also said that despite its obsolete enabling act, it has been able to perform the role of protecting the interest of the Nigerian importers and exporters to a large extent.
Justifying its argument on the execution of its brief, the NSC, in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and International Police Organisation (Interpol), last week said it nabbed a suspected fraudster believed to be a Briton, who poses as an Iceland-based stock fish dealer, and goes by a number of names including Mike Harding and Nigel Francis.
The suspect was alleged to have fraudulently duped a group of stock fish importers based in Aba, Abia State to the tune of over $774,477.
It was learnt that the suspect was apprehended following a tip-off by the Aba traders while he was making a fresh move to obtain the sum of $5,500 from one Obinna Echianu under false pretence at Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The traders, numbering about eight it was gathered, had sent in a complaint on the nefarious activities of the suspect to the NSC, which has the mandate to protect the interests of Nigerian shippers involved in international trade.
It was learnt that the NSC promptly swung into action with the help of the NPF and Interpol.
However as we have said in the past, it is impressive that the suspect has been arrested, but the NSC must prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts that the suspect is truly behind the show.
NSC must pursue the case to a logical conclusion, so that the matter does not end like some cases in Nigeria where arrests are made for an offence and nothing is heard thereafter.
Pursing the case to a logical conclusion will further attest to the viability of NSC in the execution of its brief.
The organisation must equally look beyond making arrest and protect the Nigerian importers and exporters especially on freight rates.
The issue of freight rates has been the major issue which Nigerian shippers have said that the country has been unable to address.
They are of the view that the NSC will be said to have performed better if the issue of expensive freight rates is address.
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