Shippers’ Council rounds off retreat with interactive dinner
… Reassures stakeholders on mandate
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council ended its three-day retreat with a stakeholders’ interactive dinner last Friday at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The well-attended dinner had in attendance stakeholders in the shipping industry, including freight forwarders, bankers, chambers of commerce and industries, the Transport Ministry and women organisations.
The new NSC Governing Board, which was inaugurated by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, on May 23, 2013, has as Chairman, Lt-Genl Salihu Ibrahim (rtd).
In his address at the dinner, Ibrahim said: “Since our inauguration, the Board has set out to actualise our mandate as stipulated by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act.
“Part of our mandate is to give policy direction for the effective service delivery through management to Nigerians in line with the service delivery contract between the Government and Nigerians.”
He pointed out that the NSC Board and Management are determined to reposition it for effective economic regulation of the shipping industry to redress the various ills caused by the existing economic regulatory vacuum in the sector.
The Board, according to him, has initiated the establishment of inland dry ports in six locations across the country, which will reduce the hardship faced by shippers in the course of clearing their goods at seaports, as these facilities would bring cargo clearing closer to the door-steps of hinterland shippers.
On the ambitious project of trucks transit parks (TTPs), Ibrahim told stakeholders that the NSC is facilitating the establishment of these parks to further assist in decongesting major highways and facilitate easy and safe movement of cargo to and from the various dry ports.
He said that this would reduce trucks accidents caused by driver fatigue as the TTPs would provide truck drivers with conducive and comfortable resting places, noting that a pilot project has commenced in Lokoja, Kogi State.
While thanking the stakeholders, the NSC Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Hassan Bello, said the large turnout is a testimony of the tremendous support the Council has enjoyed from players in the shipping sector and from international sister bodies.
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council, which was established in 1978 by decree 13 NSC Act Cap. N133 LFN 2004, is vested with the responsibility of protecting the interest of Nigerian shippers, importers and exporters.
A major consensus amongst the stakeholders was a call on the Federal Government to elevate the NSC and empower it to be a regulating agency in the shipping industry in Nigeria.