The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has warned regulated service providers in the maritime industry that they will be sanctioned if they fail to register with the council within one month.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello, disclosed this in Lagos, at a sensitisation clinic for regulated service providers, which include shipping companies, terminal operators and inland container dry ports.
Represented by Director, Consumer Affairs Department of NSC, Mr. Cajetan Agu, Bello said the service providers would be given the chance of first and second warnings before it employs actions such as delisting, sealing off of business premises amongst others.
He noted that since the first sensitisation clinic that took place on January 31, 2019, only few regulated service providers had registered.
He listed those affected by the directive as: ports authority, seaport terminal operators, shipping companies, offdock terminal/bonded warehouses.
Others, he added, are: cargo consolidators, logistics service providers, freight forwarders, inland container depot operators, stevedoring companies and others.
The registration, Bello stressed, is in line with part 2, section 41 of the NSC Port Economic Regulation of 2015.
According to Bello, “The purpose of this clinic is to provide guidelines, rates and modalities for registration online with the NSC portal. At the first sensitisation programme in 2019, participants raised issue of high registration fee, stating that it adds to cost of doing business and this was reviewed downwards, but surprisingly some regulated service providers did not pay.
“It is hoped that stakeholders will avail themselves this opportunity and participate in the sensitisation clinic and equally register with the NSC thereafter for those who are yet to register with us. Stakeholders should not take our persuasion as a form of weakness, they should utilise the one month grace period and register or sanctions will be meted out.”
The NSC boss said some benefits attached to the registration included regulatory incentives, creating a pool of operators in the port sector, economic planning, ability to monitor the conduct of providers, free access to complaint mechanism and platform for consultation.
He added, “When appointed a port regulator, assignments were given to the NSC for them to create an effective regulatory regime at the ports for the control of tariffs, rates, charges and other economic services.
“For shippers’ council to express these functions as prescribed under the regulation and under operation “Know Your Customer”, Part 2, Section 4 listed all the regulated service providers at the port.”
“And again, under section 4, the listed providers shall register with the council. It is line with this section that we are meeting today, carrying out this sensitisation training for stakeholders. So failure to comply will amount to a breach of this regulation and shall attract sanctions as stipulated by the regulation,” he added.