The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello strongly believes that the most important task on his hand is to attract cargoes to the ports. And how vows to get them from the nation’s competitors, assiduously leveraging on automated port industry, buoyed by gains of a functional National Single Window and vibrant Dry Port regime.
What is your current relationship with the operators, particularly those who have dragged the Shippers Council to court?
Peaceful. We are fully at peace with them.
We don’t begrudge the operators for going to court; the truth was that, out-rightly everybody wants a definition. That was why they went to court. But what is most important is we are forging ahead as we want to establish a sustainable mechanism of settling dispute including negotiation on tariff.
And thirdly, we are focusing, as I have said, on ease of doing business; we cannot go on with business-as-usual in our port industries. We demand and we would receive transparency, openness.
There has been a little hitch about cargo-tracking note but even then, I think that has been pursued now and ultimately we are also part of the National Single Window.
So if we entrench all these which would soon be, I assure you that Nigerian ports would be world standard, Nigeria port would be transparent, and efficient, and effective and competitive, and as it is now; we are in fact.
The most important task is to get more cargo from our competitors.
So once we do that, we would positively alter the terrain.
Again, the Federal Ministry of Transportation is pushing for infrastructure.
Transport drives Economy; and we must have more than infrastructure. I know the deficit might be a little bit frightening but slowly if we are determined, concerted we would be able to do substantial to reduce this problem.
And one of the issues we are doing is the Dry Port. You would remember this vision has been going on. We have now got Kaduna dry port which has started operating actually; and through that we are bringing shipping unto the doorstep of shippers.
We are also creating others related industries in Kaduna, we are also making them base for export which means we are diversifying the economy.
We are looking at Jos which is 65 percent completed and then Jos. For Jos, they have already gotten contract.
Now the Kaduna one is operating at a profit. Yes. And once we have the Jos one, we have Kano; and then you will see that we don’t even have to keep cargo at the ports; so that they would just be distributed.
Now we are working with the shipping companies. We are working with the terminal to make sure that this thing is done.
Yes, the Isi Alangwas are here to sign the agreement; and construction will soon start.
I think they are coming here, so construction will start at Isi Alangwa and we have 18 months for them to complete the construction.
You know we have really gone to many places to see that these things are actualized.
We have the Truck Transit Park which we are also doing, we have acquired land too. We are promoting it as a Private Public Partnership and we have already advertised for transaction advisors and they are coming to help us. There have been tremendous supports.
And the beauty is that all these things are connected, we cannot have our infrastructure that is not connected with the port.
….To be Concluded