Shippers Council parley MAN to improve export, import dwell time at ports

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), yesterday met to discuss modalities to streamline the procedures for import and export trade in the ports.

Disclosing this during a courtesy visit to MAN Corporate office, Ikeja, Lagos, the Executive Secretary of the Council, Barrister Hassan Bello said that the visit was to get the buy-in of MAN to reduce cargo dwell time at the ports.

Bello also said that export trade is important to the Federal Government in its effort in diversifying the economy.

He was of the opinion that the economy needs to come out from an import-dependent economy and encourage manufacturing.

NSC Boss disclosed that the Council is discussing with export inspection agents and the Nigeria Customs Service with a view to ensure that export trade is done seamlessly.

He said: “The Nigerian Shippers Council will continue to support project and programmes that will improve port efficiency and reduce cost and simplified procedures and processes for the clearing of goods at the Nigerian ports.

“We have been advocating for the automation of the port operational processes and procedures in line with best practices.

As Shippers Council reduces local shipping charges from 22 to 5by Barrister Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Shippers’ Council

“We remain neutral, unbiased, providing a level playing field for all. We are indeed a referee and umpire and will ensure that decision of vital issues in this port sector is arrived at through consensus, opinions of stakeholders.

“We are talking about a reduction of cargo dwell time at Nigerian Ports, Nigerian Shippers Council is also a member of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Committee on Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, CISS, and our pre-occupation is the procurement of scanners at various Customs formations across for quick examination of cargoes.

“Shippers’ Council has keyed in this project to ensure that export trade documentation is streamlined and reduced to the barest minimum.

We have to put measures in place to reduce the cost of transportation in the overall cost of the good.

Now, we have 35 percent of the cost of transportation added to the cost of production.

Speaking in a similar vein, the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Engr Ahmed Mansur attributed the delay in the export sector through ports to poor infrastructure, roads access.

On the issue of the delay containers in the ports, Mansur noted that this is clearly a concern to all manufacturers. We do know that it is not only MAN that brings containers to the ports. So as far as MAN is concerned, first of all, our internal regulations within our membership, we insist that all our members should be complaints to the extant regulations in terms of what they bring to the ports and all that. We have also heard that this dwell time is affected by several factors including the infrastructure.

As we all know today, he said, if you want to bring your container to the port, it takes a lot of time because of the nature of the roads adding that Nigerian ports can never be competitive if the ports remain in its current state.

The MAN President however applauded the Shippers Council for working hard, even in the face of numerous challenges to ensure a reduction in the cargo dwell time at the ports.

Engr Mansur solicited for the establishment of a truck part within the port premises to help address the issue of congestion at the ports and its environs.

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