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Shippers’ council, SON harp on ethics, integrity in shipping

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The Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in collaboration with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have intensified efforts to boost the ethics and integrity in shipping trade, urging the importers to comply with the standards and shun unethical practices that is jeopardising growth of the industry.

Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, at the sensitization workshop jointly organized by NSC and SON in Lagos, said about 80 per cent of the cargoes going to neighbouring ports are meant for Nigerian market, but lost to inefficiency and high costs at the seaports.

He therefore noted that the Council is vigorously pursuing a new port order, which is focused on reducing costs.

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Bello said: “We have intervened in so many respect to make the business of shipping easy and transparent. We want to reduce costs and make operators work in a business friendly and transparent environment.

“We want to remove all encumbrances to smooth cargo movement. We are making progress and we will make sure that our ports attract more cargoes,” he said.

He lauded SON for the partnership and its efforts to automate the process, adding that automation is inevitable, if Nigerian maritime sector must grow.

Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the importers are fond of making false declaration and manipulation of the process to smuggle sub-standard products into the country, calling for full compliance with the standards in order to sanitise the system and jointly grow the Nigerian economy.

He said: “SON has been pro active in ensuring that requisite standards are made available for most products in the Nigerian market. It has set up regulatory frameworks for compliance with these standards, procedures made available, and adequate sensitization are being carried out to ensure that the public is abreast with the activities of SON. There are deliberate attempts to remove doubts and ensure transparency in our operations and service to stakeholders,”

Aboloma, who was represented by the Director, Inspection and Compliance, SON, Obiora Marofa, said the agency has developed more technical ways of tackling the menace, adding that SON has gone electronic in its goods clearance procedure, issuance of demand notes and receipts in addition to other service upgrades to reduce human interaction and eliminate possible sharp practices.

A Maritime Lawyer, Barrister Emmanuel Nwagbara said the institutions must be strengthened to be upright and deliver on their mandates.

He cited several cases that have failed due to the inefficiency is the agencies in charge, adding that such situation was discouraging and counter productive for the economy.


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