Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), a federal government agency responsible for the promotion of fair trade practices, is to develop a database of shippers in the Southeast zone of the country, BusinessDay has reliably gathered.
The exercise, which is ongoing, will help the agency to develop reliable databank for effective administration and monitoring of commodity flow in the zone-producers, dealers, middlemen, routes and destination of goods.
The council is collaborating with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Ministries of Commerce and Industry of the 5 States of the zone, to ensure that all stakeholders in the shipping sub-sector of the economy are captured.
Ada Okam, zonal coordinator, NSC, Southeast, who confirmed the development to BusinessDay in Aba, Abia State, affirmed that the exercise when completed will ensure that all agencies involved in shipping would do their best to assist shippers to carry out their businesses effectively without hitches.
The NSC boss observed also that consumers, will benefit from the exercise, as they would get good bargain for goods.
She attributed the high cost of goods to challenges faced by shippers in the area, which include high tariff and multiple taxation and urged shippers not yet captured in the exercise to avail themselves of the opportunity.
Okam told BusinessDay that the databank, would ensure free trade transaction, as the Federal Government through the NSC, would protect all stakeholders in the system
“Consumers will enjoy, as shippers will have hitch free transaction without being cheated by any agency involved.
Austina Chidi Ogbonnaya, the zone’s public relations officer, explained also that the Council is using the opportunity to educate shippers on their activities and the importance of the Inland Container Depot (ICD) project.
Meanwhile, Shippers in the zone are optimistic that the realisation of the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Avor IntIgha, in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State, will not only save the shippers cost, but would also reduce uncertainties often experienced during cargo deliveries from far ports like Lagos .
Olo Onuma, president, Abia Shippers’ Association said, “We are elated and definitely going to make use of this facility, because it is going to help us a lot.”
The Aba ICD is one of the approved dry ports to be established in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria . The project was initiated to ease congestion at the country’s ports as well as provide fast track clearing services to importers in the country.
“The impact will be positive in so many ways. It will help us cut cost as well as reduce uncertainties due to its proximity to the city. Instead of having to go to Lagos, PortHarcourt or Calabar, we will just come in here and pick up our cargo so, the economic impact will be quite significant,” Onuma affirmed.