For Nigeria to transit from its debt challenges, the need to quickly reverse balance of trade through massively diversifying export profile remains the panacea to making the nation’s economy competitive in the face of global crisis, experts has reiterated.
However, for these to happen the imperativeness of engaging in production activities, adding value to agricultural products and curtailing the monopolistic tendencies of active stakeholders in the port sector through effective regulatory activities of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) remains critical stakeholders equally noted.
This is as maritime stakeholders welcomed the federal government renewed Initiatives to empower NSC as Port Economic Regulator within Port Industry under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
They stated this at a one-day sensitization programme on the mandate of shippers’ Council as port economic regulator.
Harping on its port economic regulatory mandate, as the economic gateway to the nation, the Executive Secretary, NSC, Emmanuel Jime, acknowledged that maritime industry plays an important role in the development of any economy.
He pointed out that as a catalyst to the nation’s economic development, maritime transportation and its related activities influence the growth of industries directly or indirectly and exerts great influence on the general price of goods and services.
One of the reasons for the trade imbalance, Jime observed, was the composition of Sub-Saharan African Trade, which according to him is about six percent of global trade.
He maintained that about 70 per cent of export cargoes are primary commodities while the majority of imports are consumer goods.
According to him, “Therefore, there is the need to develop the nation’s industrial base so as to balance trade and boost the nation‘s economy. The port as a critical infrastructure needs to be made competitive, guard against monopoly and free for numerous players to enter and exit in order for its users to enjoy the benefit of lower prices and efficient service delivery usually associated with competition.”
“It is against this backdrop, that the Federal Government of Nigeria, pursuant to the Nigerian Shippers Council Act Cap N133 LFN 2004 appointed NSC as Ports Economic Regulator. The aim is to create an effective regulatory regime at Nigerian ports for the control of tariffs, rates, charges and other related economic services.”
On his part, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Mrs Magdalene Ajani, stressed that they would continue to play its role to ensure that all agencies under the ministry work in synergy according to the law of the country.
Speaking, a Development Economics and Data Analytics with Lagos Business School, Professor Bongo Adi, explained that the country must begin to improve its export profile to counter its negative balance of payment.
According to him, the capacity to supply the rest of the world grows the economies of the world, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria monetary policy has become sterile to solve the country’s economic challenges.