The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS) has vowed to engage policymakers in the country in order to correct the imbalances in the shipping industry caused by policies and decisions taken by the legislative and the executive arms of the government.
The newly-elected president of NCS, Mr Aminu Umar stated this in a chat with our correspondent in Lagos recently.
Umar said the chamber will channel its energy towards the Legislative and the Executive arms of government on policy making to ensure that decisions and policies that affect the shipping sector are not taken without the engagement of the chamber.
He said the chamber will encourage and support collaborations and synergies with the federal government, and all stakeholder organisations that have prime interest in shipping and the development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
He added that this will provide seamless working relationships, unity of purpose, strengthening of capacities and creation of advocacy opportunities that the chambers can leverage on to facilitate growth, proficiency and profitability, which will benefit the industry and the Nigerian economy.
Umar also said the NCS will partner with international institutions on collaborative programmes that Nigerians can benefit from on how to run the shipping business.
He said: “NCS has two major roles. One is the advocacy, advocacy means to create awareness, engage with our regulators, our policymakers, government stakeholders to be able to bring together or create an environment for business.
“Members of NCS are mostly people who invested in shipping and what they want is to see or create an environment where they can network and to be able to do their business with profits.
“Number two, is to be able to engage in some policies that are not very accommodating to the investors in the shipping business. We will look at this together with the policymakers and see how it can be reviewed for it to be suitable and this is one of my cardinal responsibilities.
“The second role NCS does is that, it’s into training of stakeholders in the sector, so NCS has always been in the forefront of training, where stakeholders in the industry will benefit from and this time we will see how we can partner with some international institutes whereby Nigerians can benefit from this training on how to run the shipping business.
“In the advocacy side, there are a lot of lapses in the engagement; particularly with our legislators as well as our executives and we have seen that, so, NCS under myself and the team we will do a lot of networking engagement and see how we can engage. We will try to see how we can engage and create this relationship particularly in policy making.
“If you look at it today, a lot of shipping investors do not participate in formulation or anything that has to do with policies and we think that’s where the problem lies, we should be part of the policymaking because the policy affects us.
“We are the number one people that will get affected by whatever policy that is thrown so we believe that we should be at the forefront and the only way we could be at the forefront is to engage and that’s why we are going to engage more particularly in this government that is coming.
“If you look at most of the Shipowners that have problems, what are the reasons for the problem? The majority of it is that there are some policies that make it difficult for them to operate and we want to look at those policies together with the policymakers and see if that can be reviewed” he said.