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Shippers’ Council targets cost reduction with tariff adjustment for service providers

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has begun move to modify tariff charged by service providers in Nigerian ports in order to put an end to imposition of arbitrary charges on port users.

To achieve this, the Council at the weekend engaged with service providers in the sector in order to get their buy-in and to carry everybody along. The engagement was held following the Council’s mandate to provide guidelines on tariff setting, guard against arbitrariness, and to further validate the guidelines on setting, review and modification of tariff.

Hassan Bello, executive secretary/CEO of NSC, said the engagement was necessitated by excessive increase in cost from service providers, which had led to constant introduction of different tariff nomenclatures without proper consultation with the Council.

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Bello, who was represented by Ifeoma Ezedinma, director, regulatory services of NSC, said the actions of the service providers have negatively impacted on country’s economy and overall performance of the maritime sector.

“This will help to instill a culture of transparency in cost of services charged by service providers and in the process of addressing the issues of arbitrary charges inherent in the industry. It will also help to keep the Council abreast on the daily trends of tariffs, rates, charges and performance of service providers,” Bello said.

Stakeholders who were present want the Council to align the guidelines with the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) in order to ensure its smooth operations. Others canvassed for the inclusion of an arbitration mechanism to ensure future business misgivings in the sector are well managed.

The Council gave a two weeks window to stakeholders to study and come up with recommendations on implementation of new guideline on tariff setting.

According to the Council, the validation and publication of the guidelines is in line with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Port Economic Regulations 2015 Official Gazette Vol. 102, Part 11 Section 5 Subsection B, which empowers it to provide guidelines on tariffs, rates and charges, including setting the minimum and maximum levels of tariffs that shall be applicable in the port sector.

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