The Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime has unveiled his agenda for the Council for the next four years.
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council is the port economic regulator. The Council is also saddled with the responsibilities of protecting Nigerian shippers and promoting the development of inland dry ports.
Speaking with select media executives in Lagos on Sunday, Jime said the new agenda will “help guide the Council in the next four years.”
The agenda include full implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN); completion of construction and commencement of operations of at least four Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) and at least two Vehicle Transit Areas (VTAs); operation of two Border Information Centres and operation of an Empty Container Insurance Scheme or Guarantee Scheme.
He also said that the NSC would collaborate with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and shipping companies, to have in operation a Consumer Protection Regime in the maritime industry and sign Memorandum of Understanding with shipping companies towards alleviating the challenges faced by consumers of shipping services.
Hon. Jime also said that the NSC under his watch has come up with new innovations that will be implemented over the next four years. The new innovations include the development of a “software application to enable shippers obtain, from their handsets, shipping and logistics information, such as shipping news, trade statistics, port charges, rotation number of vessels, local shipping charges, terminal charges and lodgement of complaints.”
He also said that the council plans to develop another software application for inland cargo tracking from ports to the final destination.
The NSC boss assured that he would institute an industry stakeholders consultative committee; organise more stakeholders’ engagements and enlightenment programmes, and create an effective and robust communication strategy with the media.
He also said that the NSC, over the next four years, will work hard to facilitate trade by engaging in advocacy and creation of awareness for shippers to participate in both ECOWAS and AfCFTA Trade.
He also assured that the Council would embark on advocacy to eliminate the Apapa gridlock, establish and operate the National Single Window system, and eliminate check points on trade corridors.
On port regulation, he said NSC would “strengthen regulatory framework and the need to develop a modus operandi for regulation; strengthen enforcement mechanism; standardise processes and procedure, resuscitate the Cargo Defence Fund and make it operational within one year, upgrade the Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) to make it more robust, as well as establish Export Desk at designated loading centres for export.”
Hon. Jime said some milestone achievements have been recorded by the NSC since he assumed office five months ago.
He said, “On my assumption of duty as the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council in July this year, I took time to acquaint myself with the internal administrative mechanisms of the Council, paid courtesy visits to sister government agencies and also familiarised with some stakeholders in the maritime industry and the media, which are key partners to the Council in executing our mandate.
“In line with our statutory mandate, we have been able to achieve some key advances, while some are in progress. In an effort to effect full digitalisation of the port operation process, the Council carried out an advocacy exercise for port service providers on importance of compliance with digitalisation of port operational process. Although most shipping agencies have achieved 99% digitalisation of their process, they still resort to use of manual processes in some aspect, this is due to the demand for hard copies of manifest by some government agencies. However, we have urged those government agencies to automate their processes to ensure full compliance in line with the current best practice.
“A standing committee composed of representatives of shipping line agencies and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council was established. This is aimed at maintaining a harmonious working relationship with the shipping companies. The committee meets regularly to discuss challenges encountered by the users/providers of the shipping services and then proffer solutions to challenges, arising.
“As a result of our collaboration with the Maritime Police Command, there has been a reduction in the rate of complaints received from the freight forwarding agents on the incessant issuance of detention alert placed on duly cleared containers by the officers of the Marine Police.”
He also said that the NSC has set up and inaugurated the National Shippers Association of Nigeria (NASAN), “with a view to giving the shippers across Nigeria, a stronger voice in addressing common issues of interest with the service providers and to also contribute to national policies affecting practice and conduct of international trade.”
Jime also said the the Council has been able to resolve a lot of disputes between shipping companies and shippers.
“From July to December, 2021 a total of 171 complaints were received, 82 cases were resolved and 89 cases still outstanding. The sum of ₦900,809,361 was saved as a result of the Council’s intervention,” he added.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.