Shippers’ council advocates review of Act, seeks funding
Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has said it is championing moves to ensure its enabling Act is reviewed by the National Assembly (NASS).
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, NSC, Emmanuel Jime, who spoke in his office in Apapa, Lagos, lamented that apart from the council’s challenge of lack of power of enforcement as a regulator, it is currently confronted with lack of adequate funding to carry out its mandate.
According to him, the agency’s main source of revenue generation is the two per cent from the seven per cent Port Development Levy collection at the port, which he said is not enough to implement the agency’s mandate.
Jime outlined how lack of funding has limited activities of the Council, especially through the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), which has been unable to expand its scope beyond Lagos ports to other ports.
Jime also lamented that the National Transport Commission (NTC), which seeks to transmute the shippers’ council into a more powerful agency might not see the light of the day.
He said the bill has been passed by the Senate three times with President Muhammadu Buhari declining his signature for passage of the bill twice.
Jime said there was another legislative instrument being processed at the National Assembly, the OMNIBUS bill, which included some elements of the Nigeria Shippers’ Council’s functions that could have strengthened its activities.
He said because the NTC was being processed, the aspect of the Shippers’ Council in the OMNIBUS bill was excluded when it was finally being presented to the National Assembly.
According to him, because of the limitations in the Shippers Council Act, its ability to perform certain functions, such as sanctioning breaches is grossly limited, as the agency is not able to sanction people.
He said this was actually what informed NSC’s decision to go into a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
Jime said he would work with the legal department of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to process the legal requirements under the council’s Act to seek for its amendment.