Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr. Pius Akutah (middle), flanked on the right by the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi and on the left by the state Commissioner for Transport, Engr. Gbenga Dairo at the management retreat in Abeokuta at weekend.

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council NSC, the country’s Economic Regulator for the port industry has said it is poised to implement the Integrated Customs Tariff Nomenclature ICTN and a full automated paperless operation as part of measures to enhance trade facilitation and ultimately boost Federal Government’s revenue.  

Speaking at a three-day management retreat held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital at the weekend, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Council, Barr. Pius Akutah MON, noted that there are several trade and economic benefits inherent in the implementation of the long awaited ICTN in the country.

The theme of the three- day retreat was:” Unlocking potential of Marine and Blue Economy for rapid national economic development”

He noted that in addition to simplifying trade procedures in the country, the ICTN scheme would boost revenue for the government and ultimately boost national Gross Domestic Product GDP.

Akutah said: “The ICTN will aid the Council’s fiscal drive, the Council is adding revenue generation to its previously port regulatory and other mandatory functions in the maritime sector.

“When we have the ICTN implemented, it would be a major source of revenue, not only for the Council, but for Nigeria, it would also grow our economy, and with that, we would contribute to the national GDP.”

The NSC- boss also unveiled plans to begin full paperless operations by August 2024 in a bid to aid effective service delivery as Nigeria’s Port Economic Regulator.

According to him, the NSC is determined to make contributions to the development and implementation of a National Policy on Marine and Blue Economy.

Barr. Akuta however pledged to boost productivity by improving on the welfare of the workforce through promotion of staff. He disclosed that there are more senior staffers in the Council than the junior members of staff.

“Promotion is a key element in driving productivity in any establishment, so we would consider the issue of promotion. However, it would also be by a system that ensures that there is growth and also recognises contribution of individuals. It would be a reward system for people who put in their best.

“We have seen that the Council is in dire need of more staffers, we have seen a situation where the top is heavy, while the middle and down is very lean, and we have a top which I believe that in the next one year, so many of our Directors will be exiting the system, so what do we do to replace them, we need to act very fast”, the ES said.

Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun while speaking at the event, lauded Nigerian Shippers’ Council for the development of transport infrastructure projects in the country.

Represented by the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, the governor, noted that Shippers’ Council remains crucial to actualising the aspirations of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

Meanwhile, Director, Strategic Planning & Research Department of the Council, Mr. Olurotimi Anifowose in his presentation entitled:” The NSC Strategic Plan: The journey so far taking into consideration the achievements, challenges and recommendations, gave comparative analysis of the 2023 strategic plan.

A resource person at the retreat and a lecturer at the University of Lagos, Prof Adesola Osibona, who made a presentation entitled:” Repositioning the NSC: The imperatives of Economic Regulation in Marine & Blue Economy”, x-rayed the strategic roles to be played by the Council in achieving the goals and objectives of the Blue Economy Ministry.

Adesola, who spoke extensively on the Marine & Blue Economy, its components and other array of issues relating to the topic, noted that the role of the Council in achieving these goals and objectives cannot be over-emphasised.