Senate Assures On Shippers’ Council Transmutation To National Transport Commission

Chairman Senate Committee On Maritime; Senator Ahmed Rufai Sani Yerima, Minister of Transportation; Mr  Rotimi Amaechi, Governor  of Kebbi State; Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation; Senator Adamu Aliero, at last week’s breakfast meeting on financing transport infrastructure inland dry ports and truck transit parks 

•Says Bill To Be Passed By December

About seven months after it was passed by the House of Representatives, the Senate is also set to give concurrent passage to the National Transport Commission (NTC) Bill, which is to pave way for the transmutation of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to the new organisation.Under the Bill, the National Transport Commission will be an independent multimodal transport sector regulator.  The Bill seeks to transfer the staff, employees, ownership of land, assets, properties, rights, debts, liabilities, obligations, functions and powers currently vested in the NSC to the new NTC.

The news of the imminent passage of The Bill was unveiled last week in Lagos by the Chairman of Senate committee on Marine Transport; Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima.

Yerima spoke at the breakfast meeting which was organized by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for investors in Inland Dry Ports and Truck Transit Parks. 

Senator Yerima told the gathering that the Senate will pass the NTC Bill and five other transport sector Bills before the end of the year, even as he eulogized the Shippers’ Council for what he called its contributions to the development of the maritime sector.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of House of Representatives committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways,; Dr. Patrick Asadu disclosed that the House or Reps passed the NTC Bill to pave way for the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to transform into the National Transport Commission.

He also commended the Council for its sterling performances in the maritime industry.

The main objective of the NTC bill is “to provide efficient economic regulatory framework for the transport sector, mechanism for monitoring compliance of government agencies, transport services providers and users in the regulated transport industry with relevant legislation and to advise government on matters relating to economic regulation of the regulated transport industry.”

The bill, prepared by Chairman, House Committee on Land Transport, Hon. Aminu Sani Isa, and sponsored by Hon. Osai Nicholas Osai had identified critical areas requiring urgent reforms to reposition the sector and add value to the economy.

Shipping Position Daily recalls that, while speaking during its final reading before passage, on the intention of the bill to transform the NSC to NTC, Isa had said: “It was highly observed that the thrust of the NTC Bill is economic regulation. To a great extent this is also the main thrust of the NSC Act. For example, section 6 (1) (b), (c), and (h) of the draft NTC Bill 2015, and section 3 of the NSC Act, Cap N133, LFN 2004 have similarities of functions.”

He said: “The NSC has since its creation in 1978, established national spread and accompanying assets including a 12-storey twin towers that serves as its head office complex in Lagos, a four-storey two wings liaison office complex in Abuja, well-equipped Library, and an expansive training room as well as a fleet of operational vehicles;

“The council also has six zonal offices in the six geo-political zones as well as area and port offices spread across the states of the federation; by virtue of its experience and the fact that it has been performing similar economic regulatory functions in the port sub sector of the transport industry, the council is most suitable and easily adaptable to perform the role of an economic regulator.”

He had added that the transformation is also aimed at cost saving, avoidance of duplication of agencies and easy adaptability, among others.