The Executive Secretary (ES) of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello on Wednesday highlighted that Government’s aim of establishing an Economic Regulator was essentially, to harness ports potentials, through an effective coordination of all parties operating in the ports.
The ES made the statement in Kaduna, in a keynote address, as relevant agencies, including the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agencies (NIMASA), Federal Ministry of Justice, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), and the Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT) assembled, in a bid to evolve a legal draft, necessary to guide the Shippers Council, in the performance of its onerous task, as an economic regulator.
He pointed out that despite the fact that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had played the roles of a technical regulator creditably, Government was still aware of the existence of certain lapses which included longer vessel and cargo dwelling time, more time wasting complex procedures, corruption, as well as controversial cost effectiveness, when compared with other ports in the sub region.
“Our ports are not as efficient and cost effective as they ought to be”, he indicated, explaining that the Kaduna parley was therefore strategically important as it would enable the celebrated presidential pronouncement to be backed by law.
Barrister Hassan said the Council would also undertake needed internal restructuring in conformity with the laws or legal framework to be evolved so as to ensure the Council’s optimal performance from inception.
He therefore enjoined the stakeholders to brace up for a highly exciting three-day-brainstorming period, to appraise, study, adapt and adopt what the country needed, to productively move the sub sector forward.
The Executive Secretary lauded the Nigeria Customs Service for its remarkably supportive roles, even as he celebrated the presence of those in attendance, stressing that the Council could not be luckier than this, in terms of quality of representation.
“We should never lose the sight of the fact that Nigeria is in competition with other neighbouring ports”, he emphasized, stressing that all must now be done, to enable the country enjoy its natural advantage.
Meanwhile, the first paper presented at the opening session, by a Deputy Director of the BPE, Mr. Uba Mohammed has highlighted the need for the economic regulator to entrench transparency from inception, if its image must enjoy legitimacy and credibility.
The BPE advised that the Council must pursue the emergence of a perfect market system where there must be free flow of information, forces of demand and supply entrenched, free entry and exit of operating parties guaranteed in tandem with healthy competition spirit.
“You must see yourself as the father of all”, he told the Shippers’ Council, pointing out that while the consumers must be protected from the arbitrariness and exploitation of the Service Providers, special efforts must also be made, to ensure that the Service Providers can continue to gainfully operate, lest they quit, and the market suffers a failure.