The Federal Government has said that its decision to appoint the Nigerian Shippers Council has paid off, as it has not only restored the confidence of the port stakeholders but also brought about mutual respect among them.

The council, which appointment as Nigeria’s seaport economic regulator was approved by the Federal Executive Council in February 2014, had organised a stakeholders’ appreciation night for their support and cooperation and also asked for more synergy in the coming years.

Minister of Transport; Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, while speaking at the event, lauded the council for its regulatory roles and functions, which he believes have enthroned a regime of stability and stakeholders’ confidence in the port system.

The event also featured special recognitions and presentation of awards to shipping companies, shipping agents. and terminal operators.

The Minister said that it was gratifying to witness such social engagement among stakeholders, which he said remained a potent tool for cohesion and identifying ways in which value could be added to the maritime industry providers and users of services.

“We at the Federal Ministry of Transport, understand the import of holding this night of appreciation by the Nigerian Shippers Council, the Port Economic Regulator for the operators, which demonstrates its style of regulation rooted in synergy and a harmonious relationship with the industry stakeholders”, the Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Sabiu Zakaria also said.

According to him the high level of attendance was also a testimony of the high level of mutual respect and confidence between the council and the stakeholders.

The Minister however urged the private sector operators to engage the government constructively through its agencies with a view to bringing its challenges to government’s attention.

He assured that the government would do everything possible to create a conducive business environment and a level playing field for all the operators.

Meanwhile, president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande had while speaking at the event urged the Federal to enthrone a regime of investment-friendly policies and processes at the nation’s seaports. This, according to her is with a view to attracting the much needed private investments that would engender the growth and development and grow the industry.

Akande, who was the chairperson of the event, listed the problems of poor state of infrastructure with the attendant poor service delivery as well as imposition of double taxes and levies as the greatest challenges facing the operators.