• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Shippers’ Council moves to build database for Nigeria’s port industry

Shippers’ Council moves to build database for Nigeria’s port industry

…Begins compulsory registration of service providers, port users

As part of the efforts towards developing a database for the nation’s port industry, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has commenced a compulsory online registration of all the regulated port service providers and users of port services.

At the stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop for shippers, haulage operators, freight forwarders, licensed Customs agents, and other port users held in Lagos on Monday, the Port Economic Regulator said it will ensure that port users and service providers are duly registered.

Read also: Shippers say fluctuating customs FX rates, inconsistent policies fuel inflation

Pius Akutah, executive secretary of the NSC, said the Council wants to build a databank for the port industry, which is while is migrating from manual to online registration for regulated service providers and port users.

He said the workshop was to take stakeholders through the process and that the Council has also provided a manual for the registration to aid stakeholders.

Represented by Cajetan Agu, director of Consumer Affairs, Akutah said the move is in line with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act that mandates all regulated service providers to register with the Council.

Citing an example, he said, the Council had received several complaints in the past on trade-related disputes and when the investigation is carried out, it will be blamed on the faceless importer.

According to him, the Council wants to put an end to issues of faceless importers going forward and the Council would only treat issues concerning shippers, operators, and port users that register with it.

Appealing to parties involved, the Council’s boss said there would be consequences for non-compliance.

Responding to the issue of duplication, Celestine Akujuobi, assistant director of Consumer Affairs, said registering with the Council is different from obtaining an operating license from Nigeria Customs to work as a freight forwarder or Customs agent.

According to him, the Shippers’ Council will publish the list of people who are legally mandated to do business at the port while those who failed to comply would not be in the database.

Benjamin Ivwighreghweta, deputy director of ICT, said to register with the port economic regulator, the person or company must present supporting documents that show his or her line of business.

Read also: Shippers Council to sensitise MSMEs in South -East on the potentials of ACFTA

He listed the document to include a recent bill of lading, and a certificate of registration with the Export Promotion Council, NPA, or CAC among others.

He said people can either go online to apply for a new registration certificate or to renew an expired certificate and would be able to pay the registration fee online.

He assured that the portal is user-friendly, and developed with security features that protect users from malicious hackers and cyber threats.