LAGOS – The Port Consultative Council (PCC) on Friday said that the Nigerian port industry recorded an achievement of having an economic regulator, which was not in existence before.
The President of the Council, Chief Kunle Folarin, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Folarin also said that the introduction of port concession had changed the mode of operations of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
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“In 2014 the Federal Minister of Transport appointed the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) as the Economic Regulator in the port industry which was not there before.
“We are following up events on this; we are looking at the feedback of that particular policy.
“We were able to x-ray it and share the opinion of stakeholders with the agency designated to manage this particular issue.
“So, port regulation is current; it’s very strategic for the industry and, therefore, our attention was focused on that.
“After concessioning, the NPA changed its status from being an active operator to becoming a landlord model operator.
“Therefore, infrastructure, which is a major plank of their responsibility and mandate, was also revisited.
“Particularly bringing about the issue that they need to look at port expansion, to bring about a master plan for the development of port industry and ports in general,“ Folarin said.
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He said that the council realised that the issue of port charges had become controversial among the key players in the maritime industry, mostly shippers.
Folarin said that there was the need to look at what had been thrown up over the years on port charges and see how competitive the Nigerian ports would be.
He, however, said that the issue would make Nigerian ports the preferred destination and accord the ports the hub status in the West African sub-region. (NAN)