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Stakeholders Unanimously Endorse Repeal and Re-Enactment of Shippers’ Council Bill

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*Stakeholders Unanimously Endorse Repeal and Re-Enactment of Shippers’ Council Bill

 

In a resounding show of support, stakeholders in the maritime industry have overwhelmingly accepted the proposed repeal and re-enactment of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and Economic Regulatory Bill during a public hearing held at the National Assembly in Abuja.

The public hearing, which was attended by representatives from various sectors of the industry, including shipping companies, freight forwarders, and cargo owners, saw a unanimous endorsement of the proposed legislation.

The new bill, which seeks to repeal the existing Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act and enact a new Shippers’ Council and Economic Regulatory Act, aims to strengthen the regulatory framework for the maritime industry and promote economic growth.

Recall that following the Federal Government’s announcement of the NSC as a Port economic regulator, the agency has struggled to enforce sanctions on ports and shipping stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector due to the absence of an enabling law backing up their status as a Port Economic Regulator.

Stakeholders, on Monday, praised the proposed legislation for its provisions, which include the establishment of a more effective and efficient regulatory framework, the promotion of competition and innovation, and the protection of the rights of shippers and other stakeholders.

During the public hearing organised by the Committee on Shipping Services and Related Matters, the Executive Secretary/ CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Pius Ukeyima Akutah, described the legislation as timely at this stage of our nation’s growth and development.

He said the need for a regulatory regime to ensure effective and efficient economic regulation for the control of tariffs, rates and charges to prevent arbitrariness is necessary.

Among many others, Akutah said the Bill will enhance the ease of doing business, minimize the high cost of doing business at the ports, ensure seamless movement of cargo, promote competition and enhance the quality of service.

“The Bill essentially embellishes the fundamentals of Economic Regulation, making all actors play by the rules,” he added.

“The Nigerian Government is evolving a Regulatory Agenda across all sectors, with economic contribution as the goal. The shipping industry should not be an exception.

“There is, therefore, no better time than now to enact this, Bill. I therefore most respectfully, urge esteemed stakeholders to make meaningful contributions toward its immediate passage and enactment.”

He further expressed his gratitude to the stakeholders for their support and assured them that the council would continue to work towards ensuring a conducive business environment for all players in the industry.

Chief Adebayo Sarumi, a former CEO of the Shippers Council said a regulatory body is late by no less than 20 years.

According to him, this will bring about a level playing field, and regulatory services and ensure that the consumers do not suffer.

Malam Hassan Bello, a former CEO of the Shippers Council said the Bill will be a crowning glory of the Federal Government’s efforts in the maritime sector.

“This proposed agency will fill the regulatory vacuum that has bedevilled the sector, the reason the ports are not making contributions. It will end the monopoly.

“The bill is fundamental and essential and will correct anomalies and guarantee efficiency and use of tech in ports operation.“

Meanwhile, Boma Alabi, SAN, representing the Shipping Lines Association of Nigeria said the body welcomes any act that will improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce bottlenecks.

She further said the Nigerian ports cost the nation twice as much as our neighbours.

Ahmed Rabiu, a concerned stakeholder said the Bill has been overdue since the time ports were concessioned, calling for its speedy consideration.

Other stakeholders like the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group backed the development.

In separate remarks, they said the absence of a regulatory agency stifled economic activities.

They further said the passage of the Bill will have a positive impact on the maritime industry, leading to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved services for shippers and other stakeholders.

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RIVERS UNREST: IGP CONDEMNS KILLING OF OFFICERS, SECURITY THREAT, ORDERS INVESTIGATIONS, HEIGHTENED SECURITY

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Commiserates with Family, Loved Ones of Deceased

 

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, condemns in the strongest terms the recent outbreak of violence and subsequent breakdown of law and order at various Local Government Council secretariats in Rivers State, where supporters of two political factions clashed over the tenure of Local Government Council Chairmen, which unfortunately led to the tragic deaths of a Police Officer – Inspector David Mgbada, and Samuel Nwigwe, a vigilante member at Eberi-Omuma in Omuma LGA.

 

In response to these heinous acts, the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, CP Olatunji Disu, to heighten security measures across the state and institute thorough investigations into the killing of the police officer and the vigilante operative, as well as the general violence which erupted in the state. The IGP has specifically deployed operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) to assist the Rivers State Command in apprehending the killers of the police officer and the vigilante member. The IGP seriously warns individuals and groups of people who have a penchant for senseless attacks and mindless killings of police officers and other security operatives across the country to desist forthwith as the fullest force of the law will be meted on them.

 

The CP has also been directed to focus on increased patrols, strategic deployment of officers, and enhanced intelligence operations to prevent further violence and ensure the safety of all residents. The IGP extends heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the deceased police officer and the vigilante member noting that their dedication and sacrifice in the line of duty will not be taken for granted.

 

The Inspector General of Police calls on all residents and political stakeholders in the State to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means of resolving differences.

 

ACP OLUMUYIWA ADEJOBI, mnipr, mipra, fCAI,

FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

FOR: INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE

 

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CSOs back Shippers Council Regulatory Bill

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CSOs back Shippers Council Regulatory Bill

 

A group of 45 civil society groups under the auspices of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria for Promotion of Accountability and Transparency in Governance (CCSGNPATG) have thrown their weight behind the proposed Nigeria Shippers Council regulatory agency.

 

Recall that the Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigeria Shippers’ Council Act and enact the Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill and Related Matter passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

 

This crucial legislation aims to empower the Nigerian Shippers Council to effectively regulate the shipping industry, protect the interests of shippers, and promote economic growth.

 

Speaking on behalf of the groups at a press conference on Monday,  Patriot Nwogu Ndubisi hailed the

Committee on Shipping Services for its inclusivity, giving stakeholders the platform to make inputs to the bill at a public hearing.

 

He said the bill will bring much-needed transparency, accountability, and efficiency to the sector while strengthening the Shippers Council’s regulatory powers, reduce costs, increase competition, and improve service delivery.

 

He, therefore, said that the passage of this bill will have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy and the lives of citizens.

 

“Our coalition is pleased to note that 99% of the opinions expressed at the public hearing were in favour of the Bill as presented,” Ndubisi added.

 

“We also note that a few amendments were suggested, which the House Committee on Shipping Services, ably led by Honourable Abdulsamad Dansuki, has promised to take notice of. Such an accommodating disposition is what the electorates expect of our lawmakers, and we look forward to the House sustaining this trend.

 

“We want to specifically commend the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Rt. Hon. Tajudden Abbas for the speedy consideration of the Bill by the People’s House under his leadership.

 

“This is even as we use this opportunity to appeal to the Right Honourable Speaker to help sustain this tempo given the significance of this bill and its importance to the national economy and the positive impact it would have on the lives of citizens.

 

“We, therefore, plead with Senate President Godswill Akpabio that Nigerians are eager to see the Senate replicate the pace the House has adopted in treating the Bill.

 

“We are of the view that such accelerated handling of the Shipping Council Regulatory Bill aligns with the Senate President’s avowal to tackle inflation, economic hardship, and difficulties that Nigerians are facing. We look forward to commending the Senate for the manner it will treat the bill when it comes to the Red Chamber for concurrence.

 

“Our final appeal goes to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his speedy assent when the Bill is transmitted to the Presidency. With the passion he has shown for rebooting Nigeria’s economy to its optimum, we do not doubt that Mr President will greet the Shipping Council Regulatory Bill with the same urgency with which the Students Loan Bill was greeted to become an Act.

 

“Meanwhile, we laud the Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for getting it right with the Shipping Council Regulatory Bill.  The support he has mobilised so far shows his level of transparency and zeal to regulate the maritime economy. Posterity will be kind to him and all his subordinates who made the progress of the Bill a reality.

 

“To our compatriots, Nigerians, we ask that as stakeholders we continue to collectively support our lawmakers in the National Assembly to make the eventual delivery of a ‘Shipping Council Regulatory Act’ a reality.“

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Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

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Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

Former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai felicitates Muslims on the occasion of Eid Kabir Sallah celebration, calling for peaceful coexistence among Citizens irrespective of ethno-religious difference.
In a speech delivered shortly after the Eid Prayer, Buratai emphasized the importance of prayer in addressing the challenges of life and security in Nigeria.
The remark, which was given in an interview with a journalist shortly after Eid prayer, stated, “Prayer is the weapon of the believer, so there is a need for prayers for peace and prosperity in the country.”
“I also want to use this occasion to urge the community to cooperate with the security forces to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.
“There is need to remind ourselves on this special occasion of the significance of unity, prayer, and cooperation in building a peaceful and prosperous society”. Buratai said.
Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

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