‘Appointment of Shippers Council as economic regulator will improve ports efficiency’

Nigeria Shippers16 May 2014, Lagos – Members of the  Maritime Arbitrators of Nigeria (MAN) has  described the appointment of the Nigerian Shippers’  Council (NSC)  as Ports Economic  Regulator as   coming at the right time  for the purpose of achieving  efficiency in  the nation’s ports.

The  body of arbitrators  which    described  the   appointment    as a very  good development  for the nation’s ports  industry, said it will save shippers  the nightmare  suffered over the years   while clearing their goods.

President of MAN, Dr. Omogbai Omo-Ebon,  who led the  executive members of the association on a courtesy visit to the  Council’s Apapa headquarters in Lagos   described  the decision of the federal government as  a wise one,  adding that it will  also improve productivity in the port system.

Omo-Ebon who congratulated the Council   and the Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello,  for the development said he  was not in doubt that  that the Council  would deliver in the new assignment.

Omo-Ebon  expressed confidence that the Council will  do a good job  as  far as the assignment is concerned, adding that the Council’s track record in addressing issues  of conflicts in the ports system  shows that  it will  make  the nation proud .

He also said that part of   the reason for visit  was to  explain that the association  was an alternative means of settling disputes  in the  shipping  industry.

According to him,  since    going to court to seek legal redress  takes a long time and costly too,  the alternative dispute resolution being championed by his group becomes very important.

He   called on industry operators to take advantage of the association in settling disputes, adding    that already stakeholders were comfortable with the body.

Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello , in his response  while welcoming the body  said the importance of the  group cannot be over-emphasised.

Bello  enjoined  stakeholders   to  embrace alternative means of settling dispute  since maritime cases take a long time to be settled in the  law court because of their technicalities.

He disclosed that his council has also been involved in settling a lot of disputes  between  providers  and consumers of shipping services, adding that many of such cases had been settled  through the intervention of the council.

Bello  described the  Council’s role as  both advisory and regulatory,  explaining  that it is all about creating a balance  for all parties to operate in the ports industry.
According to him, the  Council   was currently  developing   a framework for  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for the  good of the industry.



– Francis Ugwoke, This Day

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