BY JONAH NWOKPOKU
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC Mr. Hassan Bello has said that despite several indicators of Nigerian ports’ performance and efficiency, clearance procedures are yet to meet up with basic technological advancement.
He said the procedures for clearing goods in the nation’s ports are outdated and called for adoption of new technological innovations that will bring the ports to par with any modern port in the world.
Bello said, “We should guide the port system to where it ought to be because despite other indicators of port performance and efficiency, there are still certain areas that need to be supervised and streamlined.
We are particularly worried about the cumbersome clearance procedures in Nigerian ports which are near primitive. We have to encourage the deployment of automation and technologies so that our ports become modern and are comparable to other ports anywhere in the world.”
He said the council as an economic regulator is also concerned with the port’s tariffs for operators in Nigeria, noting that it should be scientifically determined as that will affect the quality of service delivery.
On INTELS’ visit, Bello said it is a continuation of the shippers’ councils’ foray into the economic regulation of ports’ activities. He said the council has visited the terminal operators and also engaged the shipping companies and agents.
“We are in continuous consultation with principal stakeholders in this industry.
This is because economic regulations simply means that government wants to create a balance and fair playing field, encourage fair trade practice and see that there is co-ordination and supervision, as you know, there are so many interests, the port is a miasma of interests.
It is therefore important for government to set a coordinator.” He said
The NSC boss said the council will continue to be fair and transparent in the discharge of its responsibilities as an economic regulator of the ports bearing in mind the tremendous private investments made in the sector that needs to be sustained.
“As a matter of fact, the participation of the private sector in transport infrastructure and service is revolutionary in Nigeria and INTELS is leading the way.
We appreciate the profound investments that INTELS has made in this logistics provision of services because it has helped to transform our ports into efficient service points,” he added.
Also speaking, INTELS’ Authorities Manager, Bamishebi Thompson said INTELS carry out its business in compliance with strict government regulations and that is why it is visiting NSC to show that it is ready to partner with the council and equally seek its support.