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The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, has said that the council is to partner more closely the Nigerian Customs Service to scale up clearing time limit of cargo in the nation's port, in a renewed effort to increase efficiency at the port.
Bello stated this during a courtesy visit to the Controller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko in Abuja.
"It is also our expectation that the synergy between the Nigerian Shippers' Council and stakeholders in the port sector especially the Nigerian Customs Service will promote efficiency, reduce port cost, encourage private investments and reduce current mistrust among stakeholders," Bello said.
He commended the Nigerian Customs Service for the decentralisation of the issuance of transit permit and the introduction of an electronic platform to facilitate trade, which contributed positively to improving ports efficiency and increasing revenue generation for the national economy.
"As you are aware, the port sector before now was characterized by high port cost, poor compliance of imports and exports guidelines, perennial port congestions, administrative bottlenecks and the issue of corruption at the ports," he emphasised.
Some of these challenges compelled the federal government to concession the ports in 2006 to private terminal operators.
According to him the infusion of private sector in the transport sector is expected to increase operational efficiency and infrastructural development of the ports, as well as safety of cargoes.
Bello said President Jonathan has approved the appointment of The NSC as the economy regulator for the port sector in the country. The council is expected to provide guidelines for tariffs, monitor the standard of service delivery, encourage competition, and guard against monopoly and abuse of dominant market position.
In his remarks Dikko said that the Nigerian customs is willing to partner the shippers’ council to improve the efficiency of the port sector in the country.