Bello Explains Status of NTC Bill

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

By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, has refuted the insinuation that President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent to the National Transport Commission (NTC).

According to him, the president only requested adjustment to the safety regulations section.

Bello, while addressing the press recently in Abuja, disclosed that the safety section was added by the National Assembly which would be removed.

The president had in a letter to the National Assembly leadership read by the President of the Senate, Sen. Bukola Saraki, at plenary last Wednesday, said some sections of the NTC bill contained safety regulations that would duplicate the functions of existing transport agencies.

The letter read: “Safety regulatory provisions enshrined in some sections of the bill which are technical in nature fall within the purview of central legislation implemented by agencies like NIMASA (Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), NPA (Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and therefore should be expunged from the bill.”

But, reacting to this, the NSC boss pointed out that: “The president didn’t decline the bill, he only said that some sections should be corrected and should be brought back to him for assent which we have done.”

According to him, “the President had earlier noted that some sections of the bill contained safety regulations that would duplicate the functions of existing transport agencies like NPA and NIMASA which should be expunged from the bill.”

He also said that the percentage of the amount to be retained by the agency from royalties collected under section 19 (2)(d) should be reduced from 10 to five per cent.

“Section 19 (2)(f) which stipulates charge of three per cent freight tariff stabilisation fee on all imports and exports out of Nigeria including wet and dry cargoes should be amended and reduced from three per cent to one per cent.

“Section 12 (9)(2)(d) stipulates that a portion of the proceeds from royalties collected by the authority empowered to collect royalties from transport service providers should not exceed 10 per cent which is collected by service providers and concessionaires which is contained in NSC legislation.”

Bello, however, said all necessary adjustments would be made and taken for assent.