The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and stakeholders in the port industry have expressed their readiness to improve the operational performance of the ports industry with a view to make it more cost effective.
Addressing journalists at the end of a closed-door meeting held with the various freight forwarding associations, terminal operators and shipping companies yesterday, the NSC Executive Secretary, Barrister Hassan Bello, stated that the Council is ready to ensure that arbitrary charges by shipping companies is tackled.
According to him, the NSC is set to begin the enforcement of the laws that gives it power to regulate shipping charges in the Nigerian ports, adding that any shipping company or terminal operator found wanting wil be sanctioned.
He noted that increasing the quality of services in the ports system will not only bring down cost, but will also give Nigerian ports the competitive edge among other ports in the sub region.
He said that despite the Council’s effort in protecting shippers’ interest by ensuring that cargoes are delivered timely and at a justifiable charge, the numbers of complaints from port users have continued to increase.
“For instance, there is a general consensus that port cost is still on the high side despite the concession exercise. Studies carried out also support the fact that costs has continued to escalate while patronage of neighboring ports by Nigerian shippers continue to increase thus, denying the federal government much needed revenue from the port industry. This are challenges that must be addressed with determination and commitment on the part of all stakeholders in the industry,” he said.
Also speaking, the Founder, National Association of Gvernment Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, said one of the reasons the problem of arbitrary charges still persist is because there is no regulator in the port industry.
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