To reduce transportation cost by 35%
By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Shippers’Council, NSC, has commenced moves to bring about a port tariff mechanism that will put to rest the issue of arbitrary charges by foreign shipping companies operating in Nigeria.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, said that the tariff mechanism will be such that it will not go below or above certain levels of charges so that there could be competition in-between.
Bello said that there will be a systematic way of bringing the cost of cargo clearance or work out a reasonable tariff mechanism.
He explained that the era of haphazard, unauthorised or arbitrary increase in port charges is gone adding that all charges must be cleared by the Nigerian Shippers Council.
He said: “Certain charges like congestion charges which was introduced by some recalcitrant shipping companies, was stopped by the Council.
“We want to have a permanent port tariff mechanism for checkmating arbitrary charges.
“We are considering this with a view to reducing the total cost of transport, which is also a cost to manufacturers.
“We want to put measures in place to reduce the cost of transportation in the overall cost of goods and services by as much as 35 % percent.
“Some of the measures the Council is hoping to adopt include the review of local shipping charges, tariff nomenclature, improving of Nigeria’s connectivity index, automation and upgrade of transport infrastructure.
“We have engaged the shipping companies and agreed on a harmonised tariff nomenclature.
He said that before now, there were 22, charges but according to him, it has now been reduced to only five.
He suggested that both the Council and MAN should create a platform whereby policies will be examined as well as joint execution of these policies to ensure that they have positive impact on the various sectors.