Shippers’ Council Advocates Indigenous Freight Practice In Nigeria

Shippers’ Council Advocates Indigenous Freight Practice In Nigeria
Mrs. Dabney Shal-Holma

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council has reiterated its resolve to bar multinational companies from participating in freight forwarding jobs in Nigeria.

The Director of Commercial Shipping Services of the Council, Mrs. Dabney Shal-Holma said this during an interactive session with members of the Customs Consultative Committee (CCC), last week in Lagos.

She emphasized the need to identify and set aside an aspect of the value chain in the development of the maritime sub-sector for Nigerians only, adding Nigerian Shippers’ Council has decided that nobody should do freight forwarding in Nigeria except Nigerians only.

“Nigeria is a signatory to the World Trade Organisation (WTO’s) requirement that has barred logistics and we are saying that we are not unbarring it, when you go to government offices, you see white men with portfolios seeking to be registered to carry out logistics, where are the jobs we are talking about going to come from? This is where the jobs are, in logistics and that is where the Nigerian populace is completely left out.

“That is why it is difficult to articulate how much of the trade that comes into the economic system of Nigeria when about 75% of it is given out, we don’t have any control over it and the only way to know this is by barring them from certain activities, you will have reduced substantial costs for yourself because you are in control and we have to do this legitimately,” she stated.

In his address, the National President NAGAFF and Vice Chairman Customs Consultative committee Dr. Eugene Nweke expressed the committee’s position on what is posited as an efficient port operational performance indicators and an ideal shipping services,.

He identified 80% non-compliance with the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) as the reason for the delay in clearance of container goods at the ports, even as he said that in an approach to solve the problem, trade hub was present at major international markets to sensitize traders and importers on the importance of total compliance with (PAAR) to their import business.

He also identified exorbitant cost of doing business at the ports as an impediment factor to trade facilitation.

Shal-Holma, while reacting to the issue of container depot raised by Eugene in his address, said that the Council was not relenting in it establishment of ICDs adding that the efforts towards the ICD would ensure that it could be container freight stations and the government was expected to declare them as points of origin and destinations.

She added that the export-oriented terminals where goods can be assembled, processed with value addition be packaged is the objective of ICDs and container freight stations so that when they get to the port of exit, they do not have to be subjected to any checks.

On factors impeding freight facilitation, the Director explained that there was need for a total overhaul in the trucking system in Nigeria as the Council is X-raying same and within the next couple of weeks, will release a report identifying what of kind of truck structure is advisable for Nigeria.

She stated that a group of consultants have already been commissioned and that they are working with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to stop one man trucks that are not maintained for up to twenty years and that is why they are in rickety states and cannot carry cargoes.

She quipped that some trucks operate in the port without clearance because it belongs to a man that is an ex-staff in the port.

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