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National Assembly concurs to the establishment of Independent Port Regulator

The House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport has agreed to the establishment of an Independent port Regulatory Commission to oversee the activities of terminal operators.

The House of Representative Committee on Marine Transport led by Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuayin agreed to the request of maritime stakeholders.

It will be recalled that about two months ago maritime stakeholders met in Lagos  to resolve the contentious issue of an economic regulator for port operations.

The stakeholders’ agreement was subsequently forwarded to the House Committee on Marine Transport consequent upon which the Independent Port Regulatory Commission was birthed and adopted by the Committee.

The agreement also contained  the Ports Bill 2009 currently undergoing finishing touches by the Technical Sub-Committee on Bills of the House  Committee.

At the meeting, the stakeholders agreed that the regulator should evolve from an Act of the National Assembly and concentrate on tariff regime, ensuring right pricing and standard services and should be free from bureaucratic bottlenecks and political interference.

The stakeholders, also recommended that the  proposed regulator should comprise of professionals who understand its mandate and be able to adjudicate on disputes between the various stakeholders.

It was agreed that the proposed regulator  must ensure that the various operators restrict themselves to the respective business for which they were licensed and  must have power to sanction, in order to instill and maintain discipline; and should derive its powers from the port bill presently before the National Assembly. Section 128 of the new Ports Bill establishes the Independent Ports Regulator.


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