Shippers’ Council to critics: Registration of port service providers falls within our mandates


…Speaks on consolidation of freight forwarding companies

…Says PEBEC soon to appoint agency to enforce SOP

Following arguments on whether or not the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) had the mandate to register port service provide forms part of its mandate; the Council has come out to explain that the action actually falls within its mandate.

The Director of Consumer Affairs of the Council, Chief Cajethan Agu who cleared the air on the matter while speaking with newsmen in Lagos yesterday said that Section 4 of the Port Economic Regulation gave the Council the mandate to register all the port regulated service providers which he said was what it was doing.

Agu added that having been empowered by the relevant regulations, the Council needed not to consult any government agency before carrying out its mandate.

“It is a mandate given to us by the federal government. There is no clash of interest; it is a law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he added.

While describing the proposed registration of port service providers as work in progress, he pointed out that the sensitization seminar where the idea was first made public was an engagement between the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the stakeholders saying that the Council does take decision without hearing from the stakeholders.

He said, “We came out with a proposal and we tabled it before the stakeholders and there was a debate. I spoke at that event and I made it very clear that we are going to take into consideration some of the contributions from the stakeholders.

“So, we will work on it and we are going to take into consideration the feedback we got from the stakeholders. In other words, it is work in progress, there is no way we can be taking decision, you see, one of the principles of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is to try as much as possible to take into consideration the views and contributions of the stakeholders so that for any decision, it is going to be an all-inclusive one”.

On the initial moves to consolidate freight forwarding firms, the Director said,” Shippers’ Council in her capacity as the port economic regulator simply mooted that idea, it is left for the CRFFN to look at it and see how it can be implemented and good enough, you are equally aware that a new Registrar and a new Board is now in place, let’s just give them the chance to see how they can reorganize the freight forwarding sector for better efficiency.

Speaking on the status of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) being championed by the NSC before, Agu observed that the essence of the Standard Operating Procedures was to standardize process adding that SOP was put together by the port steering committee which was an inter-ministerial committee sponsored by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) which the Shippers’ Council later took over.

“What we merely did was to harmonize the processes into a single document. Yes, the document is there but there is the need for a lead agency to monitor compliance. I think the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) is working on it and as soon as an agency is appointed to see to the implementation, definitely, you will see the benefit”, he explained.

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