The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has commended the Maritime resident reporters for their vibrancy in reporting issues and setting agenda for stakeholders in the maritime industry.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello who made this known while delivering a goodwill message at a one day seminar organized by the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council in Lagos on Tuesday said he was impressed with the performance of the maritime reporters.
Bello opined that the maritime reporters now give more of knowledge and information adding that if one really need to have information as well as the trends in the maritime industry, all that such a person needed to do was to turn to maritime pages of the print and electronic media.
He said,” we no more see posting of customs officers as headlines, now you see the trends in the economy, we see the port charges in other ports comparative issues that will guide our system here. I really commend the maritime press”.
He further commended the achievements recorded so far in the maritime industry since the ports were concessioned out to private operators adding that there has been a tremendous investment in the sector which according to him had never been in place prior to concession.
On the court cases between the Council, the terminal operators and the shipping line agencies, he quipped,” these cases are not bitter. I have always said that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council should have gone to court itself. We are just looking for interpretation and anybody could have gone to court because a regulator represents everybody”.
The NSC boss however added that there were some other things that had to be looked into particularly the Federal Ministry of Transport which had been marshalling and guiding the reforms in the maritime industry that had outwitted others noting that the transformation that had been brought to bear in the industry was unprecedented.
According to him,” recently, NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) introduced two important issues about e-payment. This is revolutionary; it has not been done before, cases where you spend six days to make payment now you do in a matter of seconds”.
“The Nigeria Customs officers you meet in the meeting and they sit down and debate on tariffs, they debate on risk assessment, very intelligent officers and of course, the issue of automation is being led by the Nigeria Customs. These are physical progress that you see everyday”.
“The freight forwarders who I call the philosopher king of the maritime industry is there everywhere initiating the maritime policy, they are at vantage position. I have seen the contributors they have made”.
While recounting the achievements of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), he reminded them that there was a lot to be done calling for synergy so as to create a level playing ground.