By Seun Ibiyemi
In a move to drive the nation’s port activities, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council Barr. Hassan Bello has disclosed that the council was planning to introduce new economic port system.
In an exclusive chat with Nigerian NewsDirect, he said the nation’s ports need to be competitive and support the federal government-led President Muhammadu Buhari ease of doing business.
He said “the ease of doing business is for operators to sit down at point A and clear cargo from port and it comes to meet you where you are without you going to the port.”
Bello urged for cooperation from Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Police and freight forwarders so as to make the plan successful.
Speaking on reforms he said “we have to introduce reforms and by next year, there will be lot of reforms. There will ne reforms that come in fleet of trucks. The trucks coming to pick cargoes are old- These are ancient trucks and that is why they break down. You see the container falling off the truck killing people and so we need to reflect on these key issues.
“We are working with the automotive agencies to make sure we have a way, but first of all establish trucking companies, Each of these companies must have a minimum of six trucks for them to operate at the port and we have them now. We have new companies coming in with new trucks and these trucks have to be checked to see they comply with standard. Do they have the tracking method even the weight they take.?”
Bello also disclosed that the council is working in conjunction with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) to see that vessels reception is in good condition.
“So the port must be efficient, there has to be reasonable price, port must have tolerant time for vessel, it must have vessel reception and it must be transparent so that investors like you and who are importers will know the cost to pay.