The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has charged the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) with the responsibility of establishing a Port Community System (PCS) which, he said, must become functional before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Speaking when he visited the NSC headquarters in Lagos at the weekend, Sambo said Nigeria needs a Port Community System that can compete favourably with its counterpart elsewhere.The Minister cited the Republic of Benin as a good example of a country with a working Port Community System.
“You are the regulator of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other agencies that have anything to do with the port.
“The responsibility is on you to ensure we have a port community system. I think it is because we have not placed the responsibility on somebody, that is why we have not been able to achieve the PCS.
“Next week, I will call you and other agencies and roll out the issue. We must have a PCS working for us in Nigeria before the administration comes to a close,” he said.
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He urged the NSC to study the Port Community System in other countries and replicate same in Nigeria.
“This is a question of direct procurement. We’re not going to circumvent the law of the land. The Public Procurement Act gives us the opportunity to do direct procurement. You need to coordinate as I have given you the role today,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Emmanuel Jime, commended the Minister for obtaining approval for the council to implement the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) and the observable success of the inland dry port projects being championed by the NSC.
“I told you that we needed to complete the process of the development of the inland dry port infrastructure put in place, as well as an update on other key transport infrastructure being promoted by the NSC.
“We accompanied you this month together with the President to deliver on your first low-hanging fruit in the industry, the Dala dry port and also the Funtua as the port of origin and destination.“These are key transport infrastructures that will aid the policy of the federal government as regards exportation,” he said.
He stressed the need to strengthen the legal framework of the NSC to be able to perform its functions and bring about efficiency at the port.
“The funding source of the NSC is completely inadequate. The one percent freight stabilisation levy is the main source of the NSC and we have never been able to access that source of revenue,” he said.
Sambo was received at the NSC headquarters by top management staff and some Board members of the Council.
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