Shippers’ Council says it has legal backing to regulate seaports

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has said that it has legal backing to perform the role of economic regulator at the nation’s seaport. Executive Secretary/CEO of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello, disclosed this yesterday at the ongoing 4th Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2014.

Speaking in an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of Africa’s largest maritime conference and exhibition yesterday, Bello was of the position that the law establishing the NSC empowers it to carry out the new role assigned to it by government.

Bello said: “We have a legal backing. If you look at the law setting up the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, you will see a lot of economic regulatory powers. Certain regulations had emphasized that. So we have a legal backing and what could be more legal than the pronouncement of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?”
On what should be expected of the SHIPPERS’ Council now that it had been conferred with the role of an economic regulator of the industry, he explained that Nigerians should not expect anything different from the council’s role of moderating the inter-relationship between the stakeholders in the industry.
He said the role of port economic regulator assigned to the Council by President Jonathan two weeks ago is not a new role or outside its purview.

He however said that the Council would embark on consultations with all the stakeholders even as he said that consultations and communications were the core ingredients of regulation.
“What we are appointed to do is to moderate the inter-relationship between all the stakeholders in industry,” Bello said.
On the NIMAREX 2014, Bello described the expo as the marriage between the maritime industry and the Nigrian economy adding that, “hitherto, we talk about the maritime induustry in an abstract way. It must be able to relate to the economy and the economy means increased participation of the private sector.”