The bill in question is not delayed at all and it’s not a private member bill but an Executive bill. It was submitted before now and was reversed and has not been re-submitted since then.
On the National Transport Commission, I think it’s the same process with the port concession bill, which has not been submitted at all.
It is taking a long time for the bill to scale through the National Assembly
.I pray that the House should look into it critically.
I object to the delay in the passing of the bill. The government should look into the bill and give it speedy passage in order to regulate the oppression of port concessionaires by ensuring that they all comply with the concession law and the agreement and charge moderately in their various terminals, not exploiting Nigerian Shippers by unnecessary increment in their tariffs.
Based on this, the National Assembly should look properly into the passage of the bill and ensure it is in order to reduce the rate of fraud and sharp practices within the maritime industry.
Val Usifoh (Chairman, PIACSC)
We are talking of a regulatory authority which can regulate all the actors, public and private not the ones that have special interests because other stakeholders need protection. We need a strong umpire who everybody will listen to. Our experience so far is that if the man on the street has a problem with the shipping companies for instance or with a freight forwarder, there is a place he can fall to and get audience but, if a shipping company or a corporate body has a case against any government agency, nobody will listen, okay they will give you audience, a government agency will find it difficult to find another government agency guilty because they all report to almost the same ministry. So, we need a regulator that is above that and whom the law empowers that look you can deal with anybody
Alex Peters (Marine Engineer)
I think there is a delay in the passing of ports concession bill, because of some dynamics of Nigeria’s political system. For example, it seems there are no ardent and committed promoters of the bill now that the Obasanjo’s administration is no more and the previous arrangement at NPA is no more. There is also a powerful lobby seeking a reversal of many aspects of the concessioning and so on.