Port economic regulatory agency bill for Nigerian Shippers’ Council passes second reading

The Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill 2023 has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The Chairman, House Committee on Shipping Services, Abdussamad Dasuki, while presenting the bill said that the government made the Nigerian Shippers’ Council the Port Economic Regulator in 2015.

Dasuki, in his presentation stated that Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s gazette is currently being implemented as a regulation and not as an act.

“If you go through the documents before us, you will see that there is a gazette by the Federal Government in 2015. In that gazette, the Federal Government highlighted what the Shippers’ Council is actually doing today.

‘‘The Federal Government noted that the objective of the regulation is to create an effective regulatory regime for the Nigerian ports after the concession of the ports. Port does not mean the Nigerian Ports Authority alone. It also means all the stakeholders in the ports, for the control of tariffs, rates, charges and other related economic services.

‘‘The Shippers’ Council’s gazette is being implemented today as a regulation and not as an act. The regulations provided that the NSC shall perform the role of interim port economic regulator with the administrative backing of the Federal Government.

“The Regulations further provided that from the commencement of this regulation in 2015, every regulated service provider in the Nigerian ports shall register with the Council. And as at today, they are answerable to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.”

He reiterated the need to repeal the existing NSC Act in order to empower the Council discharge its mandate as Nigeria port economic regulator.

The Bill seeks to repeal the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act Cap N133 which established it in 1978 to protect the interest of Nigerian shippers with amendment in 2015 to include economic regulation of the port.