The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, weekend, assured the Nigerian Shipper’s Council that the federal government would look into their challenges and effect necessary reforms, where needed for the success of the Blue Economy agenda of the current administration.
Oyetola added that the government would continue to provide a conducive working environment for the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) that would facilitate the disposal of overtime cargoes at all the ports in the country and pave the way for effective and efficient service delivery.
The minister, who was pleased with the contributions and level of achievements recorded by the management of the council, however, decried the deplorable condition of the ports, saying, “the rots and cracks in the ports’ infrastructure, over-staying of cargoes at the ports, excesses of foreign fishing firms were discouraging”.
Oyetola, in a statement in Abuja by the Ministry’s Director of Press, Henshaw Ogubike, noted that long bureaucratic processes were major factors responsible for elongated cargo clearance time, thereby frustrating shippers and leading to the jettisoning of their containers at ports.
He promised to engage the leadership of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the issue of abandoned cargoes at the ports in a bid to evacuate overtime cargoes and address other bottlenecks.
Speaking earlier in his welcome address, Executive Secretary of the NSC, Emmanuel Jime, highlighted issues requiring urgent attention to include the amendment of NSC Act to institute effective port economic regulation.
In addition, Jime said the NSC was a laboratory, where policy-making that drives the marine space was being regulated, adding that its objective was to ensure that Nigeria was the Maritime Hub in the sub- Western Region.
The NSC boss disclosed that the actualisation of one-percent (1%) freight stabilisation fee on import and export to Shippers Council as enshrined in the NSC Subsidiary Legislation; implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN); and the establishment of a National Fleet, among others were the current concerns of the council.
He expressed his confidence in the administration of the new minister, adding that Oyetola had so far displayed passion towards creating impact in the maritime sector.
Oyetola, who also visited the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), where the Acting Registrar, Chinyere Uromta appealed to the him to reconsider the federal government’s decision to exclude CRFFN from the National budgetary allocation, emphasising the crucial roles the Council played in the freight-forwarding sector.
According to her, CRFFN has brought so much sanity in the logistics of the supply chain subsector and the Nigerian shipping industry. Hitherto, the era was characterized by missing cargoes.
Responding, the minister commended the Council’s efforts and expressed willingness to consider their request.