Former President Goodluck Jonathan signed the law em-powering the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) as interim port economic regulator two months before his exit, it has been learnt. He signed the gazette on March 27.
Under the NSC (Port Economic Regulator) Order 2015, the council is empowered to regulate tariff, rates, charges and other economic services at the ports.
The Federal Ministry of Transport (FMoT) is mandated to support the council in the discharge of its duty.
“With the law in place, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has been empowered to monitor all matters relating to the cost, standard and quality of services rendered by the regulated service providers, a FMoT source said.”
Under the gazette, NSC shall:
• regulate economic activities at the ports;
• set and enforce standard operating guidelines for the ports;
• regulate Nigerian ports concession agreements; and
• carry out other related acts that are incidental to its role as the port economic regulator.
Bello said the law would help NSC to promote competition, attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and increased business activities at the ports.
He lamented the high cost of doing business at the ports, which he said made them to be less competitive within the sub-region.
Bello said the council has appointed CPCS, Nafith and Mark Analytical to help it discharge its obligation.
Despite NSC’s new power, it was learnt that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will continue to collect the seven per cent Port Development Levy (PDL); the distribution proceeds will also reflect the operational realities of the benefiting ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
The service providers, which NSC will regulate, over Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); seaport terminal operators; shipping companies and agencies; off dock terminal operators; cargo consolidators; logistics service providers; freight forwarders and clearing agents; inland container depot operators; stevedoring companies; Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN) and other port service providers
Some NSC junior workers were happy that the plot to stop the council’s gazetting before Jonathan’s exit was thwarted.
They alleged that terminal operators, shipping firms, truck workers and some banks worked against the NSC being gazetted.
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