19 April 2019

Nigeria: Customs Agents Commend Bello, Shippers' Council

The Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC) has made positive impact on the seaport and maritime sector and its various stakeholders since it became the Economic Regulator of the seaport sector in 2014.

The Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents,(ANLCA) ,Mr Kayode Farinto, customs broker made this observation in Lagos recently. He said that the Council has been able to reduce the level at which stakeholders particularly providers of shipping services introduce illegal and arbitrary charges.

He said that the NSC through its various activities has been able to introduce some level of regulations in tariff and in other areas in the seaport adding that the council has definitely been able to sanitise the operations of stakeholders in the sector over the years while the industry has fared better than it was before the advent of the body as a regulator.

Farinto pointed out that the Council has been able to adopt various measures ranging from the establishment of the Inland Container Depots (ICD), and the trailer parks as part of initiatives to check congestion at the seaports and on the roads leading to them while it has also engaged in several interventions to ensure that cargoes are cleared from the ports seamlessly.

The customs broker said the Council has really been up and doing as it concerns its functions and responsibilities and commended the Council for taking proactive steps by closing the office of a foreign shipping agent which does not have an office in Nigeria was charging shippers arbitrarily.

Farinto identified the problem of the Council as that of the lack of the political will to function appropriately saying another factor that has been hampering its function is the issue of shipping agencies and terminal operating companies being owned or supported by senators, members of the House of Representatives and the Presidency.

He disclosed that "Shippers Council has indeed made some positive impact in the sector because there is no way one can compare what obtained in the sector about seven years ago in terms of the number of illegal and arbitrary charges and other impunities to what obtained now.

"The Council has really been up and doing as it concerns its functions and responsibilities , it is just that as stakeholders in the sector when we observe any anomaly we must rise up against it for the benefit of all and sundry in the industry.

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