By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has requested for a legal backing to carry out regulatory activities within ports in the country.
This, the association explained, would help tackle irregularities at the nation’s ports and usher in sanity.
President of NSC, Mr Jonathan Nicol, in a statement to newsmen in Lagos, stressed that the absence of an enabling legal framework was a setback to many efforts of the Federal Government at the ports.
“We believe that the introduction of a port economic regulator will fight irregularities and usher in sanity,” he said.
“If our port environment is not conducive for trade, of course, traders will relocate to a more liberal trade environment within the West and Central Africa regions,” he warned.
According to him, local transportation cost should be reduced to encourage shippers, with concessions on demurrage and a stop to unregulated haulage fees.
He added that the shipping lines and terminal operators were duty-bound to reduce the cost of doing business and effectively create an easier way to trade within the maritime environment.
“Freight forwarders should resolve to offer quality service to shippers (importers and exporters) and give concessions.”
“The situation we find ourselves did not start today. It was created by all and we are suffering for our collective negative actions.”
“Importers should play their roles by paying the correct Customs duties as reflected in the Nigeria Customs Harmonised Systems Code.”
“Government’s resolve to investigate activities in the maritime sector is the best thing that has happened.
“The Customs, Excise and Tariff Committee headed by Sen. Hope Uzodinma is unravelling alleged fraudulent activities in the port system,” the shippers’ leader said.
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