By GODFREY BIVBERE
EXECUTIVE Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, has said that the reported neglect of the maritime sector by the Ministry of Transport was untrue. He, however, stressed that all the parastatals under it were well covered in terms of policies and direction.
The NSC boss told Vanguard in Lagos that the ministry has always adopted a comprehensive and holistic approach because of the multi-model nature of transportation.
Hassan said: “The Ministry is not neglecting any sector in policies, policy implementation, project promotion, supervision and co-ordination. Ministry of Transport has always adopted a comprehensive and holistic approach because it is aware of the multi-modal concept of transportation that is: carriage of goods or passengers, or offering services through various modes. The ministry is focused on the integration of these modes.”
He noted that the ministry was working towards achieving seamless transportation system through the integration of various modes of transport. He pointed out that no area was given preference unlesse there was particular emphasis at the time.
Explaining the nature of connectivity of the various modes of transportation, the Shippers’ Council helmsman noted that “What happens in one mode affects the other(s). Goods are transported largely by sea and pass many avenues before they reach the destination of shippers. “Transportation by sea could be the principal mode, but you have other modes of transport like linkage (rail), road and inland waterways.
That is why the ministry is emphasising or giving attention to the rail because the rail carries bulk of the cargo and at very cheap or reasonable cost.” On monitoring of the activities of terminal operators, he said the efficiency of the terminal operators fell within the scope/purview of the Council but stressed that terminal operators were operating in someone else’s house (their landlord being the Nigerian Ports Authority).