The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has said that it is working with the shipping companies to reduce the shipping cost to about 30 percent even as he said that they will soon go into agreement.
The Executive Secretary of the NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello who stated this when the International Monetary Fund officials visited the Council in Lagos at the weekend noted the Council was concerned with the cost of doing business.
He observed that “the cost is not only unrealistic which means we are working at disadvantage. A shipper will nominate the port he wants his cargo to be offloaded and so it is economic decision. We are working with the shipping companies to reduce the cost to about 30 percent and we will soon go into agreement.”
Bello also said “We are also concerned with the issue of ease of doing business. We are now doing 100 percent examination, we have no scanners at the port and I think around March or second quarter of the year, all these things will be done with the Customs with all the stakeholders. It is very important because the port is a potpourri of many interests.
“We want to first of all do the port community system because we need synergy in operations. Of course, national single window which is indication of all port processes which will actually reduce corruption in the port and we need to automate the port for faster clearance of cargo. What we are doing now is about 18 to 20 days and we want to reduce it to 7. There is ship turnaround time also 4.1, we want to reduce it further. Not only for import but we also need to have export.”
While identifying inability to handle high volume of cargoes coming into Nigerian ports as one of the causes of its inefficiency in the shipping business in Nigeria, the NSC boss added that the ports which were mostly established in 1980 were not designed for the high volume of cargoes they handle today.
He said what Nigeria had today were not deep sea ports but river ports that cannot handle big vessels even as he further pointed out that the Council had short, medium and long-term plans which included the establishment of the Lekki Deep Sea port.
According to him, “The ports themselves are overstretched beyond their capacities. Constructed in 1980, they are handling more cargoes than they were made for. So, we have short, medium and long-term for port. There is a port built in Lekki which will accommodate larger vessels for the economies of scale because these ports we have are river ports, they are not really deep ports and so there is always problem dredging and so forth.
“Nigeria has three cardinal points; we are measuring the efficiency of the port so that we can have not only inter but intra competition. We want the concessioned terminals to have a competition regime because we know this will lead to solutions because the customers will have a choice.”
Photo: Executive Secretary, NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello.
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