By Kenneth Jukpor
Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has issued one month ultimatum to service providers and users in the regulated port sector for registration with the Council or face the possibility of delisting or shutdown.
Shippers’ Council gave this directive today, during a sentization programme for stakeholders targeted at Inland Dry Ports (IDP), seaport terminals and shipping companies.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello stressed that the Council had been lenient with port service providers and users, adding that the cost of registration had been reviewed downward to dissipate the fiscal burden.
Bello, who was represented by the NSC Director, Consumer Affairs, Chief Cajetan Agu said, “the maiden edition of stakeholders’ sensitization on the NSC registration took place on January 31st, 2019. We made a presentation to industry stakeholders on the need to register with NSC. We discussed the guidelines, requirements and cost.”
“During that engagement, we realized the need to review downward the cost of registration to prevent an undue increment in the cost of port operations. Surprisingly, two years after, only very few regulated service providers have registered with Shippers’ Council.”
According to him, the noncompliance to the NSC registration informed the decision to kickstart another series of sentization with IDPs, seaport terminals and shipping lines in the first session which held today.
Chief Agu stated that NSC registration by port users and service providers is primarily in compliance with the Nigerian law which directs the Council to make such registration.
He, however, highlighted other benefits of registration to include; a platform to authenticate and know the port service providers and users, access to regulatory incentives, NSC complaints portal, NSC workshops and seminars.
Agu also noted that the registration of port users and service providers better equips the Council to carry out its regulatory requirements and avails a pool of operators in the port sector.
Noting that Shippers’ Council has always been known for persuasive actions, Agu stressed that the Council could mete out sanctions to non-compliant service providers and port users.
“We are giving one month grace period for port operators and port users to register with NSC. Failure to carry out this registration would attract sanctions as contained in NSC regulations. In Section 5 of NSC regulation, there are sanctions like delisting, sealing-off, suspension, among others, depending on the degree of offence committed,” he said.
Regulated service providers in the port sector include; Nigerian Ports Authority, Seaport Terminal Operators; Shipping Companies and Agencies, Off-Dock Terminal Operators, Cargo Consolidators, Logistics Service Providers, Freight Forwarders and Clearing Agents, Inland Container Depot Operators, Stevedoring Companies, and any other port service provider or user.
Annual registration fees are as follows: Seaport Terminal Operators – N50,000, Shipping Lines Agencies – N50,000, Inland Container Depots/ Dry Port Operators – N25,000, Shipping Agency (Non-Vessel Operating Agency) – N10,000, Cargo Consolidators/ De-consolidators – N10,000, Off Dock / Bonded Terminal Operators – N10,000, Freight Forwarders & Licensed Customs Agents – N5,000, Barge Operators – N5,000, Hauliers -N5,000, Stevedoring Companies – N5,000, Shippers Associations -N5,000, Cargo Surveyors -N5,000, Jetty Operators – N5,000, Shippers – N1,000, Other Service Providers and Users – N5,000.
The online registration process and requirements were demonstrated at the conference, with several virtual participants assuring that they would register in due time.