The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) says it will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with shipping companies on reducing the cost of doing business at ports to 35 per cent.The NSC Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He spoke on the sideline of a two-day Sub-Regional Workshop and Joint Standing committee meeting with the theme “Port Concession in West and Central Africa: Impact on Economies of Member States’’.
“Already Nigerian Shippers’ Council is about to sign a very important MoU with the Shipping Companies. This will reduce drastically by about 35 per cent the cost of doing business in Nigeria.
“So if we perfect our system; we will find efficiency, we will find competition, because competition drives down the costs.
“We want the cost of transportation to be minimal as part of the cost of production.
”Right now, the cost of transportation is very high but it is our hope that after the Single Window, the ICTN (International Cargo Tracking Notes); after negotiation with shipping companies, the shipping cost will come down very drastically,” Bello said.
He said that a review of port concession was ongoing to enable government improve on trade facilitation.
Bello said there would not be a meaningful review of port concessioning agreement without the input of the NSC.
“For the review of concessioning agreement for now Nigerian Shipper’s Council is not participating and Nigerian Shippers’ council is a representative of so many things.
“You cannot have a meaningful port concessioning agreement without the input of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.
“So I am aware that the Federal Ministry of Transportation is looking at this because one has to take the interest of all users. This is what happened in the first instance when the negotiations on the port concessioning were inclusive.
“We should operate on open society, so that enemies of open society, will not succeed in this concessioning agreement.
“Shippers’ Council will insist that it should be part of the concessioning agreement because Nigerian Shippers’ Council is a Port Economic Regulator.
“It is also the representative of the users and also the providers of shipping services,” Bello said.