The Shippers Association of Lagos (SAL) on Sunday pledged support for and cooperation to the newly-appointed Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’Council (NSC), Mr Emmanuel Lyambee Jime.
The SAL President, Rev. Jonathan Nicole, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that supporting the NSC boss would strengthen shippers’ crusade for a new port order.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari recently appointed Jime the Executive Secretary of the NSC.
Nicole said that a new port order would create more channels for evacuation of cargo which would be seamless and efficient.
He noted that inauguration of the National Shippers Association of Nigeria coincided with Jime’s appointment, saying that SAL’s unflinching cooperation with Jime would was necessary.
According to him, a new port order will result in a new dawn in the maritime sector but would require elimination of bottlenecks.
“All stakeholders should brace up for the introduction of a new port order through collective bargaining, as this will ensure more channels for evacuation of cargo within our river boundaries.
“The Nigeria Customs Service will be engaged constructively to reduce harsh conditions on shippers and their cargoes on highways and within and around ports.
“Shippers Association of Lagos State will bring all authorised stakeholders to contribute their quotas through collective bargaining to achieve these goals.
“There will be foreseeable peace and progress in our trade platforms, and so, we will support the new executive secretary of the NSC so that he joins us in this crusade,” he said.
He said that under the new port order, perennial gridlock in Apapa, Lagos, would be eliminated as owners of cargo, the shipping community and terminal operators would come together to resolve it.
“All the challenges are man-made, and it is man that will eventually solve the problems,” he said.
Nicole added that government revenue would improve with elimination of the bottlenecks.
“There will be cordial relationship with the terminal operators and shipping lines as it used to be.
“We believe we understand ourselves better nowadays. Port charges will be tackled by all in the sector.
”Shippers will engage and work harmoniously with all government agencies, especially, with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
“Others are the Nigerian Ports Authority and Standards Organisation of Nigeria,” he said.
As regards Nigerian seafarers, Nicole said that provisions should be made for foreign ship owners to engage them regularly.
“These are some of the reasons the National Shippers Association was inaugurated with active state chapters,” he said. (NAN)