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NSC Set up Committee to Enhance Freight Forwarders’ Capacity

Nigerian Shipper’ Council (NSC) has set up a technical committee whose task it is to appraise the relevance of training, ethics and professionalism for the freight forwarders.

 Its Executive Secretary, Barrister Hassan Bello said that he dreams of a time when freight forwarders would be so trained, that they would become self-regulating and able to collectively negotiate with service providers and importers.

“This industry must be self-regulating. People must learn to respect rules”, he admonished further, tasking stakeholders to further embrace the use of robots too, so as to make the vision of timely delivery of cargo, easily achievable.

“We want to reduce the human content at the ports. We don’t need to be at the port, before we can clear our goods.

 And it is for this reasons, that we need relevant knowledge.

He added: “We need knowledge. We need enviable equilibrium. We need a reliable balance in the industry amongst industry’s critical stakeholders.”

He said that NSC as an economic regulator, would leave no stones unturned, in the desire to evolve a robust and strong industry, knowing full well that the chain may in no way, be stronger than its weakest point.

Earlier, while welcoming council arrowhead and his team, the President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu had indicated that the association had deliberately kept mute, even at the risk of being mistaken for being docile, only to enable political campaigns period lapse, stressing that the body may protect its own interest, if industry situations worsens further.

He noted that the face-off between the Seaport Terminal Operators (STOAN) and the council may be resolved outside the court.

Bello dropped the hint during an official visit to the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, at the ANLCA Secretariat, Dikko Inde House, in Lagos.

He said: “We don’t want regulations to be done by the court. Regulations must be done by the industry itself, because we know what the industry. The Court knows the law.

“So, we have to, at one time or another, work towards this. It is our desire to come together and negotiate these things.

Bello explained that the council was already making the right moves, in this direction.

He called on the ANLCA leadership to join the council in exploring peaceful options, to enable a faster resolution of the disagreement in the overall interest of industrial harmony.

He added that the council was already in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders which included the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Bello described the ANLCA as worthy “partners” whose operational relevance must be enhanced, if the country must enjoy before sanity in the sub sector.

He lauded the freight forwarders as the “philosopher kings” of the industry who had at different times, and even without special trainings had grown into a formidable body; able collectively resisted what they perceived as bad policies of past governments.

He supported the goals of the Council for Regulations of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN), in terms of continuous relevant education; as well as the standardization of charges and remuneration, noting that if the freight forwarders were adequately remunerated, and a level playing ground provided, then sanity and transparent behaviour would reign.

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