Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill 2023, Passes Second Reading

Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill 2023, Passes Second Reading

Kathy Kyari 

The Bill, which aims to repeal the Nigerian Shippers' Council Act Cap N133 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) and enact the Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Act when it is enacted into law, has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives. This is part of the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, His Excellency Adegboyega Oyetola's Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the year 2024, as signed in the performance bond by agencies.

In a statement dated Thursday, February 15, 2024, and signed by Rebecca Adamu, Assistant Direct, Public Relations, Nigerian Shippers' Council NSC, it was stated that the government designated the Nigerian Shippers' Council as the Port Economic Regulator in 2015 when the Chairman of the House Committee on Shipping Services, Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki, presented the bill at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

In his words “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 added

He emphasized that the current NSC Act must be repealed in order to provide the Council the authority it needs to carry out its role as the port economic regulator.

Recall that the Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC) was founded in 1978 with the goal of defending the rights of Nigerian shippers. Later, the Port Economic Regulator Order of 2015 extended the Council's jurisdiction to encompass port economic regulation.

In order to consolidate all the requirements into the Nigeria Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill, this required a revision of the NSC Act.

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