The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan
Bello, on Monday, said the Federal Government’s desire is to create a
sustainable and effective, national carrier in the shipping sector.
Bello made this known while speaking with newsmen in Abuja. He said
the committee set up to midwife the establishment of the national
shipping fleet was working on other components relating to industries
that would support it.
He said, “On the national carrier, people think it is just to go and
buy ships or to have a national fleet is to go and plug them
somewhere. Our national fleet implementation committee has been
working very hard.
“We want to create a sustainable national fleet; one that will work.
So we are thinking of other industries that will support it. We are
talking about ship repair, shipyard, cleaning up with NIMASA, cleaning
up the national registry, reforms in the Nautical College at Oron,
Delta; all these are what will support the national fleet. You don’t
just bring one ship and say this is national fleet, without a
supporting collateral industry for the shipping fleet.”
Commenting on the National Transport Commission Bill, Bello said it
was one of the major reform bills in the sector, which would encourage
private sector participation in the industry.
According to Bello, “The various reform bills in the transport
industry will make for greater participation in the private sector. It
will free transport from bureaucracy and allow transport to make a
profound impact on the national economy.
“So, the national transport commission is supposed to regulate
interest; it is an economic regulator, a multi-sector that will guide
the entrance and exit. It improves competition, safeguards standard
and also look over the pricing. Now if we look at all these things, it
is what Nigerian Shippers Council has been doing.
“One thing about this bill is that it has the total support of the
Minister of Transportation and more importantly, total support of
stakeholders in the industry.”