By: Joy Enamuna
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council said it is harping on improved collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service to enhance efficiency, smooth operations and effective service delivery at the Nigerian Ports.
The Director, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, South-South Zone, Mr. Glory Onojedo, on Thursday, when he led Executive of the Shippers Association on a courtesy visit on the Customs Area Controller, Area II Command, Onne Port Harcourt, Comptroller Baba Imam, said improved synergy between the two agencies would curb unnecessary delays in cargo clearing for shippers and other compliance traders and also boost the country’s revenue.
Onojedo, who recounted the roles of the Shippers’ Council as Port Economic Regulator to include; facilitation of trade through protection of shippers’ interest, provide guidelines on tariff setting to guide against arbitrariness; monitor and enforce standards of service delivery, perform mediatory role among stakeholders, ensure compliance by all parties with the provisions of the Port
Concession Agreements, etc, appealed for protection of shippers’ interest at the Onne Port.
He said, “The shippers in this zone, uses the Onne Port, so we are here on a courtesy visit on the new Port Comtroller so that we can have a common understanding on how to go about operations in the Port.
“The visit provided the presidents of the Shippers Associations in the zone the opportunity to interact with the Custom Area Controller on some critical issues.
“The Nigeria Shippers’ Council has always enjoyed very cordial and fruitful relationship with the Nigeria Custom Services. So we are not just planting, we are building on the foundation that has already been laid.
“Following the interactions and subsequent discussion between the presidents of the associations, ourselves and the Deputy Controller in charge of compliance, we have this good assurance that our shippers, when they use this Port there would be fast track for them”.
In his response, Comptroller Baba Imam, Customs Area Controller, Area II Command, Onne Port Harcourt, commended the Shippers’ Council and promised continuous synergy with them, and assured improvement in the system.
Comptroller Imam while stating that the effectiveness of the synergy between the Custom and the Shippers’ Council in effective service delivery cannot be underscored, said the Command is exploring modalities to facilitate trade that will not negate the laws.
Imam, however, reiterated that the command under his leadership will always maintain it’s primary responsibility of implementing and enforcing government policies with the provisions of the law, as well as encouraging compliance among traders.
He said the Command is also setting mechanisms by creating units to checkmate activities of traders as well as officers to ensure they don’t compromise on their duties and mandates.
The Controller also thanked the Council for providing them with relevant informations that would lead to improved operations at the Port.