The council is expected to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the companies in the coming weeks to agree on the templates for port charges.
“Port charges will be varied from shipping firm to shipping firm with slight differences in charges; there will not be a uniform charge. It will give room for competition amongst them and shippers will have a choice to make,” Hassan Bello, executive secretary of the council, said of the initiative.
The MoU is part of the strategies to sanitize the Nigerian port industry and effectively supervise the foreign shipping companies operating in Nigeria and terminal operators and to ensure that Nigerian ports become competitive in the West and Central African region. Advertisement
Bello who described the collection of arbitrary and unapproved charges as ‘indecent practice’ by shipping firms and terminals said the action will stop when the MoU comes into force.
He, however, cautioned that apart from protecting the interest of the Nigerian importers, it also has obligation to other stakeholders as they have invested heavily in the nation’s economy and employed thousands of Nigerians.
According to Bello, before any new charge is introduced, it will be discussed and agreed upon by all parties. He stated that the MOU is still being discussed with the relevant stakeholders, adding that it may be signed next month.
The Photo Caption: The Nigerian Shippers’ Council, ES/CE, Hassan Bello