By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, has said that it is working towards a 30 percent reduction in the cost of clearing goods in the Nigerian ports following an agreement to this effect with terminal operators and shipping companies operating in Nigeria.
Speaking at a one day enlightenment seminar organized by the Council in collaboration with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, in Lagos yesterday, Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, said that most of the charges that are currently being paid by Nigerian importers are not tied to services.
Bello stated that both SON and NSC are working hard not only to facilitate the ease of doing business but also to effect a reduction in the cost of doing business as well.
He informed that by next month when the agreement would have been signed, all the charges will be published for everybody to know what to pay to which agency.
Bello stated: “We have to take into consideration the cost of cargo, some costs are not justified, they are not tied to service and that is what we have been calling for, the shipping companies have been very understanding, we have gone through all the cost so that we can have a template. We are not going to control cost but we will not allow arbitrary charges in the Nigerian port industry in the course of clearing cargoes.”
At the seminar themed, “Ethics and integrity in shipping trade”, Bello enjoined stakeholders to adhere to international best practices in their conduct, noting that this will go a long way in actualizing the Council’s drive for a new port order, reduce cost and improve efficiency.
He explained that the Council’s goal is to promote an efficient port system that will encourage healthy competition, enthrone transparency, facilitate trade, reduce cost of doing business and make all players aware of their duties, obligations, responsibilities and liabilities.
He opined that with high ethical practice in place in the port system, vices such as impunity, presumptuous behaviours and ignorance with respect to adherence to procedures, rules and regulations will be minimized.