By Godfrey Bivbere
The Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, is set to sanction service providers and port users in the maritime industry that fail to register their operations.
In line with its statutory function, the Council had, two years ago, initiated the registration scheme as a means of regulating and ensuring standard services delivery in the maritime and ports services industry.
On the enforcement of the registration the Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive of NSC, Hassan Bello, said there will be first and second warnings for those who fail to comply before sanctions are applied.
Bello who was represented by Director, Consumers Affairs of the NSC, Cajetan Agu, at an industry enlightenment meeting in Lagos yesterday, said those to be affected include, the Nigerian Ports Authority; seaport terminal operators; shipping companies and agencies; cargo consolidators and off-dock terminal operators.
Others are logistics service providers; freight forwarders and clearing agents; inland container depot operators; stevedoring companies and other port service providers or users.
He stated: “We have given another one month to come and register with the NSC, failure to do such will attract appropriate sanction as contained in our regulations. If you go through our regulations, section 5 downwards, there are a lot of sanctions.
“There will be first warning, second warning, de-listing and stopping defaulting companies from providing services in the sector or even sealing off. There are many of them; it depends on the degree of the offense.
“I mentioned some of the benefits attached to the registration. It will guide the government in planning; all the people operating in the sector; you must know them. Even in banks, the issue of knowing your customers is there.
“So how do you plan when you do not know people operating in the sector? If you go to the port you will see people moving in and out, you do not know who is who. You must know those people that are providing services in the sector.
“If we know the people we registered, it will help us to perform our regulatory function better. Then in terms of services, there are several services that the NSC carries out, those who register with us can benefit from such services,” he noted.