Vanguard (Lagos)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: NSC to Fight Illegal Charges in the Shipping Industry

In a bid to fight illegal charges in the shipping industry, Nigeria Shipper's Council (NSC), has said that efforts are being made in reviewing the laws of the Council

This is coming on the heels of complaints of exorbitant and illegal tariffs, charges, for storage facilities, container deposit returns by operators and shippers in the country

Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Vanguard in his office, said the Council is in the process of amending the enabling laws to give it the power of prosecution.

Bello explained that NSC is trying to make Nigeria more proactive in providing services to importers' and as a result, has negotiated with shipping companies on so many occasions about exorbitant and illegal charges.

On the issue of a regulator for the industry, he said the Council has solved a lot of problems for shippers, adding that they have been receiving complaints from operators too.

"We are therefore the regulators of the industry. We have received complaints from operators, especially from shippers who had to abandon their cargoes at the ports or who were unwilling to clear their cargoes from the ports (as a result of high or illegal charges) and we have taken action to correct that."

He said that the Federal Government is using transportation to emphasize its seriousness for international trade, adding that the Council is creating a conducive atmosphere for operation of shipping and transport, so that they will be translated into economic gains for the country.

Bello further started that if the budget for the year is analyzed, it will underscore the seriousness which government has attached to the maritime industry, adding that the Federal Government has made landmark economic decisions that will translate to realizable projects.

In his words "The transport systems of any society reflect the seriousness for such country to the development of its economy.

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