Invasion Of Shipping Companies: NSC Intervenes, Consumer Protection Council Apologizes

Invasion Of Shipping Companies: NSC Intervenes, Consumer Protection Council Tenders Apology
Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime

By Kenneth Jukpor

The intervention of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on the recent invasion of shipping companies by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has led to an apology by the Consumer Protection Council.

NSC, the ports economic regulator had engaged the FCCPC over the invasion of some shipping companies in Lagos in what disrupted their operations last week.

The apology from the management of the agency was conveyed to the Shippers’ Council following its intervention last week on the matter.

Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, disclosed this to newsmen on Monday, even as he explained that the apology came as the ports economic regulator sought to intervene on the matter between the shipping companies and the FCCPC.

Jime said that the FCCPC admitted that its operatives “should not have done what they did without passing through the Council in recognition of the Council” as the ports economic regulator.

Noting that though the consumer protection agency has far more formidable sort of mandate which really allows them to take certain steps, he said it was understood that to do things the proper way, the agency needed to have informed the Council as the ports economic regulator to seek collaboration.

“The understanding is we should have collaborative efforts, not one agency waking up and deciding that I have all the powers. There is a recognition that that directive was not handled according to proper procedures. They have acknowledged that”, he said.

Jime disclosed that the Council was now at a stage of investigating the full facts on what led to the issues between the shipping companies and the FCCPC.

“We are now in a stage of actually examining the full facts so that we can see first what does the law say as far as their powers and also to get the shipping companies to speak to them with the understanding of what really are the issues”, he said.

He assured that the Council will carry out a thorough investigation to be able to arrive at conclusion and resolution of the matter in the way that will benefit the industry.

Jime also added that as umpire, the Council will not in any way take side with anyone who is wrong in any matter.

Operatives of the FCCPC had on Monday last week stormed the offices of some shipping companies in Lagos, accompanied for the operation with armed security agents.

The shipping companies who were visited in an operation that paralyzed official activities include; CMA CGM, COSCO, Hull Blyth, Hapag Lloyd and LANSAL.

Details on why the Commission stormed the offices of shipping agencies were not very clear, sources said FCCPC came to investigate areas of infringement of the rights of consumers of shipping.

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