With a view to bringing sanity into the industry in line with the procedures, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has reiterated its commitment to sanction defaulting practitioners for various sharp practices.
The South East Zonal Coordinator of the Council, Mr. Chimezie Osita Christian, stated this in Abakaliki during a sensitisation campaign in the State.
He said that the Council have come up with procedures in the ports which have brought sanity to the hitherto chaotic situation in the industry.
“It is not true because council have been given enormous powers to regulate and to even sanction offenders and we have been doing that, even charges at the ports we have clamped down on them and make sure is stopped.
“Council has powers from government to make sure people do what they are supposed to do, whether they are in the ports or outside the ports as long as they have something to do, with the movement of cargo from the ports to the hinterlands.
“The NSC as an unbiased umpire in the Port Sector is working assiduously to ensure that there is efficiency at the ports, reduction of cost of doing business, entrench healthy competition, improvement in vessel turnaround time, increase in cargo throughput and increase in both private sector and government revenue”, Mr. Christian.
The Coordinator also debunked accusations by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) that the Council does not have an enforcement unit.
“Nigerian Shippers Council is a regulator, and we regulate all those agencies that has something to do with cargoes, ports. So we have an enforcement power given to us, Infarct we have an enforcement power in council that monitors compliance and enforce sanctions on those that err.
“NAFDAC is just a regulator, we do their work, SON does their own, then the terminal operators, every agency in the port must follow the rules and regulation. Shippers council has produced what we call Standard of Rules Procedure for all the agencies there.
“So that if you don’t do your work, it will be glaring that you have not done your work and you have to pay for not doing your work”, he emphasised.
Mr. Christian during the sensitisation campaign visited media houses in the state to sensitise them on the functions, activities and services of the Council.
“We call on the government and people of Ebonyi State and all importers, exporters, manufacturers and industrialists residing in the state to avail themselves of the service of the NSC to advance the business of shipping and international trade.
“The NSC as a referee in the Port Sector has a lot of information for guidance of stakeholders in the international trade”.
The Director General of Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation (EBBC), Timothy Nwachi, promised to partner the Council to educate and sensitive the people on the maritime industry and the benefits therein for prospective practitioners especially as regards the services of the council.