The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has reaffirmed the status of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as the Port Economic Regulator of the ports.
Recall that the Council through presidential fiat was pronounced the port economic Regulator in 2014 by the then president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to oversee and supervise operational costs and charges in the port.
Prior to its appointment, the operators had no agency monitoring increase or otherwise of charges and fees in the sector which had.led to many unilateral upgrade of charges without recourse to the government.
As a result, the federal government in 2014 appointed the Council to play the role of mediating on charges and costs of doing business in the sector but not without hitches as the Council faced a lot of hurdles and resistance.
In a continued effort to revalidate the presidential fiat, the Council in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Transportation at workshop with the theme: “Promoting Competitiveness in the Maritime Industry: The Mandate of Nigerian Shippers’ Council,” in Lagos, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Magdalene Ajani stated the Council was given the status to address the encumbrances bedeviling the sector in terms of infrastructural deficit, high cost among other issues
The Minister also proclaimed that the Council should be included in the port concession agreement review which is in progress.
“I therefore want to reiterated the position of the government that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is the interim port economic Regulator and we enjoin all stakeholders in the maritime sector to give the Council the needed cooperation and support
“I also want to let you know that as the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is the 3conomic regulator, the Nigerian Ports Authority remains the technical regulator
“This is very key so that you can understand the distinctive roles of the two agencies
“I want those in court to have a rethink for us to enable a progression in the marine ecosystem
“Consequently, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council should be included in the port concession agreement review.
“I conclude with this that in line with the subsisting order on port economic regulation as issued by the president if the federal republic of Nigeria, I reaffirm that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council remains the port economic regulator in our nation’s ports pending the establishment and operationalization of National Transport Commission as an independent regulatory authority in the transport sector,” the minister stated