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Minister urges stakeholders to initiate ideas for improving Nigerian maritime industry



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The Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, has urged stakeholders to initiate ideas that will elevate operations in the maritime sector to international best practices.

Amaechi made the call at the Night of Appreciation, organised by the Nigerain Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Federal Ministry of Transportation on Thursday in Lagos.

Represented by the Director, Maritime Services of Ministry of Transportation, Alhaji Sani Galadanchi, the minister advised the stakeholders in the maritime industry to collaborate with the council in the effort to move the sector forward.

He gave assurance that the Federal Government would provide atmosphere conducive for the private sector to operate effectively in the maritime, in addition to necessary incentives.

“The council appreciates its stakeholders, particularly sister government agencies, shipping services providers, shippers, freight forwarders and so on.

“We at the Ministry of Transportation see the organisation and sustenance of this Appreciation Night every year as a positive initiative by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.

“NSC is the port sector’s economic regulator,” Amaechi said.

He commended the NSC for continuous engagement of the stakeholders, saying that it was a potent means of identifying additional values in the maritime industry.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, said the council had a vintage position in the maritime industry to look into operations holistically.

“The council is creating the balance that is needed to ease the ways of doing business at the ports.

“Port operations require synergy because there is need for unity, co-operation and integration to enable both government and stakeholders to have smooth operations.

“We are grateful to the stakeholders because anytime we call on them, they always answer, which has brought tremendous growth to the industry,” Bello said.

He said that the council was also working with shipping lines, terminal operators and shipowners, adding that the council had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), to improve the port operations.

Bello said that the council would be concerned with data collection by 2018 with the assistance of Nigerian Bureau of Statistics.

He said that all efforts would be geared toward issues affecting ports operations and analysing the seamless transportation.

The council boss commended the efforts of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for ensuring the security of Nigerians by intercepting smuggled ammunition at the ports.

He, however, commended the efforts of the media as well as the Complaints Unit of the council for ensuring that the stakeholders were committed to Ease of Doing Business.

The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Greg Ogbeifun, commended the NSC for improved operations of the maritime industry.

“The council, among other government agencies, usually engaged stakeholders in mediation and motivation to ensure a level playing ground among port operators.

“Mr Hassan Bello is creating indelible marks. You may not realise the efforts you are putting in place to make Nigerian ports the ports of destination and people are also feeling your impact,” Ogbeifun said.

He said that Nigeria deserved to be granted the Category C position by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which the country was bidding for.

Our correspondent reports that the council gave some terminal operators and shipping lines in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Calabar, Outstanding Shipping Agent Award in appreciation of their level of compliance.

Other port operators that received awards were APM Terminals, SIFAX Group, Blue Ship, CMA/CGM Nig. Ltd., Melon Port Shipping and Maersk Line.


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