• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory bill passes second reading

FG, UN partner on development of marine resources

The Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill 2023, which seeks to repeal the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act Cap N133 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill when passed into law will enact the Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Act.

According to Rebecca Adamu, assistant director of public Relations at NSC, the passing of the bill is part of Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the year 2024, as signed in the performance bond by agencies.

Presenting the Bill at the House of Representatives last Wednesday, Abdussamad Dasuki, chairman of the House Committee on Shipping Services, said the government made the Nigerian Shippers’ Council the Port Economic Regulator in 2015.

“If you go through the documents before us, you will see that there is a gazette by the Federal Government in 2015. In that gazette, the Federal Government highlighted what the Shippers’ Council is doing today.

“The Federal Government noted that the objective of the regulation is to create an effective regulatory regime for the Nigerian ports after the concession of the ports. It does not mean the Nigerian Ports Authority alone. It also includes all the stakeholders in the ports, for the control of tariffs, rates, charges and other related economic services,” the lawmaker said.

According to Dasuki, the Shippers’ Council’s gazette is being implemented as a regulation and not as an act.

He added that the regulations provided that the NSC shall perform the role of interim port economic regulator with the administrative backing of the Federal Government.

“It further stipulated that every regulated service provider in the Nigerian ports shall register with the Council. And as of today, they are answerable to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council,” he added.

He reiterated the need to repeal the existing Nigerian Shippers Council Act to empower the Council to discharge its mandate as the Port Economic Regulator.

The Council was established in 1978 to protect the interests of Nigerian shippers. Its mandate was later expanded to include the Economic Regulation of the port under the Port Economic Regulator Order 2015.

This necessitated the review of the NSC Act to harmonise all the regulations in the Nigeria Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill.