The Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, yesterday said that exclusion of the Council from from the planned review of the port concession exercise will deny the country needed technical input that would correct the mistakes of the past.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, disclosed this in Abuja at the on-going West and Central Africa sub-regional workshop and joint standing committee meeting organised by the Union of African Shippers Council, UASC in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD.
Bello noted that with Shippers Council does not only possess the technical expertise, but also being a representative of the shippers, it is imperative for the Council to be fully represented in the process leading to the review.
He explained that most of the problems plaguing the concession exercise today is because the process leading to the concession of the ports initially was not made open and the port users were not involved.
According to him, “The review of the port concession is on-going, the Shippers Council is not part of the review of the concession agreement for now.
“The Nigerian Shippers Council is a representative of so many things, you cannot have any meaningful discussion without the input of NSC.
“Am aware that the Federal Ministry of Transportation is looking at this because one has to take the issue of all port users into consideration.
“That was the problem in the first instance when the negotiation for the port concession was going on, it was not made open. Even when it was completed, it took almost seven months for Nigerian Shippers Council to get a copy of the agreement.
“The process leading to the review should be made open. The enemies of open discussion will not succeed this time around because Shippers Council will insist that as port economic regulator and the representatives of shippers, it should be represented”.