Shipping Bill Will Stop Arbitrary Port Charges

Shipping Bill Will Stop Arbitrary Port Charges

The House of Representatives Committee on Shipping Services and Related Matters on Monday, said the Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill will curb arbitrary charges and other illegality of operators in the nation’s maritime industry when passed into law.

Speaking with newsmen after a Public Hearing on the repeal of the Nigerian Shippers Council Act, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki, explained that the Committee is still collating memoranda from various stakeholders on the bill before going ahead to present the report before the House of Representatives for third reading.

According to Dasuki, the bill seeks to repeal a law preventing Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) from enforcing a presidential directive concerning economic regulation of the ports.

“We are still collating memoranda. You know the next process is to present the report to the House of Representatives for consideration. The public hearing today (Monday) showed that every stakeholder in the Nigerian Maritime industry wants an economic regulator for the industry. The era of impunity has to stop. There are no concerns from everybody. The stakeholders input were very useful and educative for us today.”

He continued, “The bill is to repeal a law which is preventing the Nigerian Shippers Council from enforcing a presidential directive concerning economic regulation of the ports. The nation’s maritime industry is overdue for this, and we will see to its implementation.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola explained that the new bill will enthrone regulatory framework in the Nigerian Maritime industry.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Olorunola Olufemi, the Oyetola stated that the ministry is elated to be part of the process that will reform the sector.

He also disclosed the readiness of his ministry to partner with necessary stakeholders to enthrone regulatory framework for the maritime sector.

“The Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is willing to partner with all stakeholders in the sector, especially the National Assembly, to enthrone regulatory framework for the Marine and Blue Economy industry. It is on this note that we are eager and very happy to be a part of the process that will reform the sector.

“The Ministry is in the process of collating its considerations on this bill and submit accordingly. We will encourage all stakeholders to also contribute their quota towards the actualisation of this process for the interest of the nation,” Oyetola said.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Barrister Pius Akutah explained that concerns raised by some stakeholders will be taken into consideration.

“I am very impressed with the outcome of today’s public hearing. I am particularly grateful to the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola for his support. This is one of the Key Performances Indicators that we signed with the Honourable Minister.

“On some concerns raised by some stakeholders, some of them are Germaine and will be looked at, going forward. We are not bringing in a law that will strangulate the sector. The intention is to bring sanity to the sector and to ensure that the sector is booming,” Akutah said.

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