By Andrew Airahuobhor / Correspondent, Lagos
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello has said that the Council has acquired substantial experience with which to usher in a new port order.
He stated this at a one day seminar organized by the NSC in collaboration with the Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS) on Wednesday, with the theme: “Working Towards A New Port Order”.
According to Bello, the NSC is not only being identified with the work of regulation now. He said since 1978 when NSC was established, it has been performing those regulatory functions with respect to the shipping industry generally. “It has therefore over the years acquired substantial experience with which it will perform this assignment to usher in a new port order,” he said.
He said the appointment of NSC as port economic regulator represents the culmination of series of efforts by the government to address the ills of the port system in Nigeria with a view to putting it on a more secure path of sustainability and growth.
This, he said, will surely create the enabling environment for wealth creation by the stakeholders using the ports.
He said NSC identifies with the vision of all users of ports system and the service providers towards a well developed port system in Nigeria. This include having a system that is fairly priced, automated, settles disputes timely and amicably, efficient and with easy access to and from the ports. Such port system will definitely eliminate corruption and reduce the problem of demurrage and human traffic at the ports to the barest minimum.
He said Nigerian ports before, had been unable to compete favorably with the ports in West and Central Africa sub-region as result of numerous factors which have made Nigerian ports to be unfriendly to port users. One grave consequence of this was the diversion of cargoes to neighbouring ports, he said.
Major Henry Ajetumobi, who represented the Chairman, Ports Consultative Council (PCC), Otumba Kunle Folarin, highlighted 15 points that needs to be considered towards achieving a new port order. These include;e speed of operation, reduction in cost of operation, greater customer friendliness, enhanced safety and security, increased level of transparency among agencies, improved reliable port infrastructure and sustained cutting edge competitiveness.
Source : Independent