The Nigerian Shippers’ Council, has launched it’s Online Portal for the Registration of Regulated Port Service Providers and Users.
In the welcome address on the 6th of February, 2024 by the Director, South-South Zone of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Glory Onojedo presented by Mrs. Patricia Osuma, Director, Public Relations of the Council, at the Kal Classic Hotel, Onne, Rivers State; Mr. Onojedo noted that the launching and presentation that followed, would take participants through a seamless process of registration on the electronic portal.
According to the South-South Director: “As you are all aware, the Port as a critical infrastructure needs to be competitive, to guard against monopoly and free for potential players to enter and exit, in order to for its users to enjoy the benefit of competitive pricing and efficient service delivery.
“It is against this back drop, that the Federal Government of Nigeria, pursuant to Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act Cap N133LFN 2024 appointed the 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.”
Mr. Onojedo further disclsed that the NSC in the performance of its mandate, developed and implemented a strategic plan for implementation and some of the accomplishments so far include: cost moderating exercise by constant engagement with service providers to ensure that tariffs and charges are tied to services rendered; provision of guidelines for setting tariffs, rates and charge to guard against arbitrariness and ensure that the port operates competitiveness and promotion and development of transport infrastructure such as Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) and Vehicle Transit Areas (VTAs) to facilitate cargo delivery to hinterland destinations.
Others include: establishment of machineries for monitoring compliance with set operational standards; establishment of a compliant resolution mechanism to address and attend to complaints from service providers and users; harmonization of tariff and charge nomenclatures to facilitate effective negotiation of tariffs, rates and charges and registration of regulated service providers and users in line with the policy of Know-Your Customer (KYC).
Mr. Onojedo in the meantime, noted that participants would be guided through the application process, fee structure, annual renewal of registration, upload of required documents, and download of registration certificate through the visual presentation by Mr. Benjamin Ivwighreghweta, the Deputy Director, ICT.
In his address presentation, the Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr. Pius Akutah, represented by Mr. Glory Onojedo, said that the launching was one of the sensitization exercises that the Council had organized for service providers, users and other stakeholders in the sector, on the need to register with the Council and the benefits to be derived therefrom.
While affirming that similar sensitization has been held in Lagos and Port Harcourt ports, noted that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Port Economic Regulation 2015, Part 11 Section 4(1) mandates the Council to register all regulated Port Service Providers and Users operating at Nigerian Ports.
Barr. Akutah further opined that the new portal was a milestone for the Council as it has upgraded from manual registration to a fully automated registration platform, pointing out that the interactive nature of the platform, eliminated physical interface.
According to Akutah: “From your office desk, you can register your company online without having to visit any Council office as long as you fulfill the requirements and make the necessary payments.
“The registration exercise is in various categories and attracts a token fee as the motive is not to generate revenue but to meet the administrative charge of running the platform, among others.
“It is mandatory for all service providers and users to register and obtain a certificate of registration before they can be adjudged as legally operating at the nation’s seaports. It is therefore, important to register with the NSC to avoid being sanctioned,” Barr. Akutah stated.
Speaking in an interview, Dr. Charles Chukwuemeka Anozie, MD/CEO, Mion Global Emergency Services Limited and Chairman, Export Trade Group, PortHarcourt Chamber of Commerce, thanked NSC on the update of its online registration portal, adding the excercise would bring sanity and Ease of Doing Business at the ports.
On freight differential, Dr. Anozie blamed the current charges by the Nigeria Customs Service on high exchange rates in the country and used the medium to call on the Nigerian government to step up to its responsibility, for the good of all and sundry.
Hight point of the event was the launching of the online registration portal manual booklet and subsequent distribution to all stakeholders and other participants at the event.