The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Wednesday said it would encourage the Federal Government to institute policies that would facilitate trade in the nation’s maritime industry.
Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary of NSC told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Bello said the NSC move followed a consensus reach after a meeting with maritime operators on how to reduce human contact in cargo clearing at the ports.
“The NSC will direct some of the resolutions to the government because we need the government to take action on some certain issues that have been discussed.
“We will convince the government to implement the issues. They are many but we may not discuss them now for strategic reasons but they are on trade facilitation.
“This is our third meeting and at each meeting we reached some achievements. It is going to continue until we ensure that Nigerian terminals are competing favourably with other terminals in the world,’’ Bello said.
The NSC secretary, who declined further details, said that the purpose of the meetings was to prepare the ports for more trade in Nigeria.
He said that operators also discussed modalities on how to reduce the cost of doing business in Nigerian ports.
According to him, Nigerian ports are competing with other ports in the sub-region and operators have to streamline their clearance procedures to attract cargo to Nigerian ports.
He said that the measures were in line with the customs targets because they are strategic partners of terminal operators, shipping companies and freight forwarders
He said that the Nigerian ports operations needed automation to meet the dynamic trends in the international maritime operations.
“We need to develop standard operating procedures. We need to check the presence of government agencies in the ports on what they are doing,’’ the NSC boss said.
He urged the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) to improve on their work in automation, stressing that the government agency must provide leadership for the maritime sector