Shippers Council seeks maritime international best practice in Nigeria … Advocates formation of National Shippers’ Association
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigeria’s port economic regulator has urged shipping and maritime stakeholders to adopt international best practice in order to enhance trade facilitation and by so doing boost Nigeria’s economic development and growth.
In another development, the council, which is also primarily charged with the duty of promoting shippers’ interest, has commenced moves towards the formation of a National Shippers’ Association across the country, as part of its efforts aimed at revitalising the existing regional shippers’ associations in order to make them speak with one voice.
Executive Secretary/ CEO of the council, Hassan Bello, who made a strong case for maritime and shipping industry stakeholders to uphold business ethics and integrity, spoke at a one-day seminar organised by the council in conjunction with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, in Lagos Thursday, with the theme: “Ethics and Integrity in Shipping Trade”.
He argued that if stakeholders play by the rules, Federal Government’s dream of enthroning a regime of Ease of Doing Business in the country would be achieved.
He also reminded the stakeholders that the aim of the event was to ensure that stakeholders adhered to international best practice in the conduct of their business, whether export or import, as doing so will go a long way in also actualising the council’s drive for the emergence of a new port order.
This according to him, reduce cost and improve efficiency in the port system, assuring that council was more than ever determined to midwife a highly efficient port system.
“The Nigerian Shippers Council’s goal is to promote an efficient port system that will encourage healthy competition, enthrone transparency, facilitate trade, and reduce cost of doing business”, Bello said.
Meanwhile, the NSC-boss had while speaking at a one-day meeting with select presidents of state Shippers’ Association at the Council head office in Lagos recently, insisted there was need to form a national body of shippers’ association the check the fragmentation of the stakeholders in this segment of the supply chain in Nigeria.
Represented at the meeting by the Director, Consumer Affairs Department, Chief Cajethan Agu, Bello stated that the forum is to provide a platform that would develop a framework for the formulation of a credible and resourceful National Shippers’ Association.
He also emphasised that the shippers are and still remain the most important partners to the council.
He said ‘‘The key priority of the council is to ensure that shippers are constituted into strong and formidable blocks capable of negotiating with transport service providers on freight payable and associated transport costs’’.
A high point of the meeting was the unanimous resolution by all the parties present that a National Shippers’ Association should be formed without further waste of time.