The Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, has expressed its concern over acts of monopolisation of the nation’s seaports, noting that there was need to make ports competitive for the sake of economic growth. The Council also harped on the need to develop the nation’s industrial base so as to balance trade and boost its economy. The Executive Secretary of Shippers’ Council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, spoke in Port Harcourt at a one-day sensitisation meeting tagged: ‘Promoting Competitiveness & Compliance in Nigerian Maritime Industry; Mandate of the NSC in Focus.’ Jime, who was represented by the South South Coordinating office Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Glory Onojedo, said the Nigeria ports are critical infrastructure that need to be made competitive and should be guarded against monopoly. He said the need to regulate the activities at the port necessitated the NSC Act in 2004 to create an effective regime at ports to control tariffs, rates, charges and other related economic services.
He said “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 need 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.” However, he hinted that the target is to provide effective regulation that would make the transportation sector efficient and contribute positively to the development of the nation’s economy explaining that in three years the NSC has accomplished a lot. Jime further said “We have made some accomplishment in the provision of guidelines for setting tariffs, rates and charge to guard against arbitrariness and ensure that the port operates competitively. We have established a complaint resolution desk to address and attend to complaints from service providers and users. And we have established machineries for monitoring compliance with set operational standard.”