Chairman of the recently-inaugurated board of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Dr Marian Ali has canvassed a review of the Council’s 31- year old law to enable it respond more to issues in the new dispensation of privates sector port system.
Inkling at the long-standing quest by the agency to transmute to the National transport Commission (NTC), the board chairman, accompanied by some members of the board lamented that even though the Shippers’ Council was created in 1978, it has failed to respond as promptly as required to industry-related issues.
Calling on the Council to adjust to emerging trends in the shipping sector, Dr Ali asked rhetorically that even though it has been in existence for a long period, “what impact has the council made towards the development of this great and developing industry?”
Wondering why it has been difficult to live up to its responsibilities as the defender of the interests of importers and exporters, she argued that one of the rationale behind creating the council was to checkmate the excesses of ship owners as well as providers of other services within the shipping sector.
“We must address the various issues that threaten our survival as a council. Some of our laws need to be amended so that we can regulate the private operators that came in with concessioning of the ports, she stressed”.
She told the council’s management team including the executive secretary, Captain Adamu Biu that it was disheartening that in spite of the existence of the Nigerian Shippers Council, charges on consignments coming in and going out of Nigeria are still largely irregular.
Dr Ali also hinted that the new board will device a means of a more effective partnership with other agencies so as to facilitate the performance of its role.
She however hinted that Shippers’ Council would seek to be involved inn the regulation of port tariffs and charges, saying that the involvement of Nigerian Ports Authourity in that aspect has not yielded much result.
Earlier, while welcoming the board members to the corporate head office of the council, the executive secretary had lamented that the past few months during which there was no board were very challenging to the extent that the existence of the council was even threatened.
“Those months were “challenging to the extent that the very existence of the council was threatened, challenging, because, we have had our little subvention stopped, challenging, because we have had so much problems to contend with”, he stated.
He declared that with the coming on board of Dr Al and her members, the Shippers’ Council now has a shoulder to lean on, even as he expressed optimism that the new board will be of immense assistance.