By Godwin Oritse
The Nigeria Shippers Council , NSC has commenced moves towards indigenisation of freight forwarding business in the country.
This is to checkmate the domination of foreigners in the critical maritime business.
Director, Commercial Shipping Services of the council; Mrs. Dabney Shall Holma made this known during a meeting with members of the Customs Consultative Committee (CCC) led by its vice chairman Chief Eugene Nweke recently in Lagos.
Shall Holma said that a decision was taken to address the issue of foreign participation in Nigeria adding that the council will implement the policy as soon as it is given approval to do so.
She explained that the council is coming up with a template that will outlaw the participation of foreigners in freight forwarding in the country.
She urged the various freight forwarding groups and practitioners to build capacities for their members with a view to making them more professional in the discharge of their duties.
“We cannot rely on the multi-nationals to continue to build capacity because they will not do it, they will continue to hire and fire.
“Most importantly and critical in the development of the maritime sub-sector is to identify which of the aspect in the value chain should be set aside for Nigerians.
“But I can tell you that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council identified that factor and we are saying that no body should do freight forwarding except he is a Nigerian.”Shall Holma stated.
The council’s commercial director also said that the only way Nigerians can partake in total logistics chain is to bar foreigners from certain activities in freight forwarding practice.
She chided the authorities responsible for the issuance of practising license to foreigners, adding that the jobs are not even enough for Nigerian freight forwarding practitioners.
Logistics in the industry
“Our teeming youths do not have jobs in the logistics industry, but you have a shipping company that has a terminal, that has trucks, that has a logistics company and also a de-consolidation centre and it’s a total logistics from end to end and that throws the Nigerian populace out of that business.
“And that is why it is so difficult for all of us to articulate how much of the trade is coming into the economic system of Nigeria.” she lamented
Speaking earlier, the Vice Chairman of the Customs Consultative Committee , Mr. Eugene Nweke identified poor port access and common user roads as factors impeding trade facilitation at the port.
Nweke who also doubles as the President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, said that cost of doing buisiness at the port will remain high except some of the factors impeding trade are resolved.
Other factors impeding trade facilitation according to Nweke includes poor crowd control, corruption and unsystematic port and trade policies.