16 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