In a bid to sanitize the Nigerian port industry, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, on port charges with foreign shipping companies operating in Nigeria and terminal operators.
Disclosing this to Vanguard in Lagos yesterday, Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello said that the move is meant to ensure that Nigerian ports become competitive in the West and Central African region.
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 explained that in as much as the Council will want to protect 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 further stated: “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.”
He said that the MOU is still being discussed with the relevant stakeholders adding that it may be signed next month.
- This story was first published by Vanguard