The Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Val Usifoh, has raised a passionate appeal, urging the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to wade into the crisis rocking the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and save it from imminent collapse.
Usifoh’s appeal came yesterday when he led a delegation of SAN on a courtesy visit to the SHIPPERS’ TOWERS head office of the NSC in Apapa, Lagos.
“This Council has worked so hard to bring to birth CRFFN. That baby is suffering serious internal haemorrhage. We are appealing that the Council should not allow the baby to die. There is need for regulation, standardization and rationalization because we have too many people in the system,” Usifoh said.
The SAN Chairman identified synergy among stakeholders operating in the maritime industry as key to the growth of the sector.
He said that when stakeholders collaborate, maximum value will be derived from the maritime industry as according to him, collaboration and mutual trust is what is needed to make the maritime sector more progressive.
He said that, with synergy, attaining the realisation of the single window platform which he said is one of the major challenges facing the port industry will be realised.
According to him, when the ports embrace electronic commerce, dwell time of cargoes and cost of shipping which is associated with delays and human intervention will be reduce.
“The port is still in the analogue age. We know the effort the NSC and NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) have jointly and severally made in the past to bring about an electronic platform where all stakeholders will key in and reduce the amount of time involve in port processes,” he said.
He added: “If we all believe in electronic commerce which is a norm in the whole world, it will do so many things. We are saying the ports are expensive, if we can reduce the dwell time of cargo in the ports to at least 7 days because presently it is about 20 to 25 days; if we can bring it down, cost will come down by at least 75 percent. Costs are associated with delays and human intervention processes which are archaic. There will be less corrupt practices. So the single window is a platform that will do that.”
He said that the association will partner with the government agency that will drive the platform of single window.
NSC Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Hassan Bello, in his response, lauded Usifoh and members of the association for striving to reposition the industry.
He said that the Council has been an advocate of the single window platform hence, it will advise the government to see to the speedy implementation of the platform.
“We are a strong advocate of the single window platform. We are conscious of electronic commerce and the NSC has represented Nigeria even in international fora to push for the infusion of technology in shipping,” Bello said.
“The NSC is well entrenched in advising the government to institutionalise all these modern aspects” he said.
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