Executive Secretary Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello

John Iwori

No fewer than 27 shipping associations have gotten the Federal Government approval to operate in the country, the Executive Secretary Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello has said.

Expressing delight at the development, Bello stated that the establishment of these associations had become formidable bodies for cargo protection across the country.

NSC helmsman who disclosed this at a two day national shippers day celebration in Lagos stressed the need for shippers to join forces to protect cargoes whether they were exports or imports.

His words: “Shippers should endeavor to channel efforts into exportation of value adding non-oil exports to generate revenue. The Council is still committed to protecting the cargo interest of Nigeria and also enjoined you to remain compliant to both national and international rules guiding global trade practices. The SALS have been very active, I must commend them for their doggedness and laudable ideas and I hope they continue”.

Bello, represented by Deputy Director, NSC Consumer Affairs Department, Mrs. Okam Ada, said that shippers in the country needed to sustain the momentum.

President of SALS, Reverend Jonathan Nicole said the theme of this year’s celebration “Approaching a New Dawn in the Maritime Sector.” was the beginning of the process to get rid of poverty from Nigeria’s port system.

Nicole said this event marked the beginning of the amalgamation of a very viral maritime institution that would eventually metamorphose into the Federation of Shippers’ Association in Nigeria (FONSA).

Nicole said that Shippers across Nigeria must come together and fight the economic challenges of the country.

“With a powerful institution such as FONSA, Nigeria will dominate the Maritime Industry and even surprise our Trade partners. The period of isolation is gone. Now cooperative and coordination will save us with the massive changes ahead of us.

Our Government will be happy to have such well co-ordinated institutions behind it”, he said

Nicole called on the Federal Government to extend some leverage to the operators in the maritime industry to improve on existing facilities, remove the dead infrastructures and give the well tested individuals in the Sector the opportunities to help in nation building.

His words: “We solicit for the resuscitation of the informal sector of cargo management. The informal sector will contribute as much as 45 per cent of total cargo throughput. It is our belief that our maritime shell covering over 20,000 Sq KM Nigeria its Southern littoral States has naturally positioned itself as a potentially veritable Maritime enclave”