Capacity building: Shippers’ Council, NIFFCB enter partnership

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, said the council would work with the Nigerian Institute of Freight Forwarders and Custom Brokers to build capacity in the sector.

Bello disclosed this earlier in the week when some executives of the institute paid him a courtesy visit in Apapa. Lagos, where the institute asked the NSC to assist it with a bigger accommodation to support its training programmes.

He said, “Freight forwarders are indispensable to the shipping industry. Nigeria cannot afford to have untrained freight forwarders or customs brokers.

“It was for this reason that attempts were made to set up the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria to introduce professionalism and do away with touts.”

Bello said the council was also interested in training its employees on customs processes and procedures so as to better understand the industry, and was looking at how the tariff system could be moderated.

He described the current process of customs clearance as primitive and said the council aimed to improve the process and procedures to standards obtainable internationally.

“The NCS intends to patronise the institute to study relevant courses being offered there. As for the issue of space, this will be discussed later,” the executive secretary added.

Bello said the council had been negotiating with service providers in the maritime industry and that the effect of that would be felt soon when the council would announce the agreement it had reached with the stakeholders.

The National President, NIFF, Dr. Zebulon Ikokide, said the institute was ready to receive employees of the NSC for higher training on freight forwarding, trade facilitation and other courses.

He said, “It is important that our positive contributions are not tarnished through disorganised and uncoordinated activities. This is why we are asking for the council’s support in view of our present position as one of the major human capital trainers for the CRFFN.

“Given the nature of your work, which interfaces with freight forwarding activities, it is our sincere belief that our place in the provision of training and direction for practitioners will assist in alleviating some of the challenges you face in relating to the practitioners.”

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