Maritime: NPCC, Backs NSC, On Self-Collection Of Freight Stabilization Fee

By Stephen Ubanna

For years, the Leadershipof the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, had worked tirelessly to develop new sources of revenue generation to run the affairs of the agency but no luck. At present the maritime agency which main source of revenue is a quarterly two of the seven percent, or N3.1 billion, of the Ports development Levy collected by Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, led Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and sent to the Accountant –General of the Federation’s office.

Informed sources told The Value News that it is the Customs Authorities that determine s what amounts to the two percent of the Port development levy, meaning that it is the amount sent to the Accountant General of the Federation’s office that are usually transferred to the agency on a yearly basis.

Many believe that the Past and Present Management of the NSC, may not have fond it found it funny in running the agency  with the paucity of funds  as  it had been unable to access even the one percent  charge  on import and export, being  one of its statutory  sources of revenue  since it was established  in  1988, by the then Administration of   Military President  Ibrahim Ibabangida, a retired  Army General.

Emmanuel Jime, immediate past Executive Secretary of the NSC, was said to have taken up the matter of  the Council Financial Constraints  with the Federal ministry of Transportation, the then supervising ministry before it was finally ceded to the new Federal ministry of Marine and Blue Economy created on August, 2023, by President Bola Amed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state  and which currently has Oyetola Adegboyega, a former governor of Osun state as the minister.

Ukeyima: Executive Secretary,NSC

The appointment of Pius Ukeyima, MON, as a replacement for Jime, as the new Executive Secretary of the NSC, may have opened a new chapter in search of a new revenue source for the agency. The NSC, new Executive Secretary was said to have used his legal background and contacts in the Presidency and the National Assembly to facilitate the collection of the statutory one percent Freight Stabilization fee.

 The Leadership of the Nigerian Port Consultative Council, NPCC, may have known what the self- collection of the one percent Stabilization levy by the agency  will go a long way  in helping in the actualization of its Statutory  responsibilities  that it has its thrown its weight behind it.

Bolaji ASumola, Chairman, NPCC, may have won the heart of the agency officials when he declared without mincing words on Thursday, March 28, 2024, during a Courtesy call by members of the Council   that’’ they support the move of the Leadership of the NSC, for self-collection of the one percent statutory Freight Stabilization fee’’.

Sumola, the NPCC, boss, who could not hide his feelings may have used the opportunity of the visit to the NSC, to address the problem of paucity of funds currently being experienced by the NSC, insisting that the agency ‘’requires proper funding like other maritime agencies such as the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, which oversees the multi-billion dollar, Cabotage Finance Fund, CVFF, and National Inland Water Ways Authority, NIWA.

Sumola: Chairman, NPCC, Seeks Proper Funding Of NSC

An elated Sumola, who was said to have  recognized the  contributions of the NSC, to development of the nation’s maritime sector  in the past and now, has reiterated  the need for the government   ‘’to strengthen  the Regulatory Power of he Agency,  as the ombudsmen  in ports operations’’.

 Mrs. Chinwe  Ezenwa a member of the NPCC,  who was said to have corroborated what Sumola, the Chairman of the NPCC, had said, in his speech had made t clear to those that cares to listen that  ‘’the issue of proper funding of the NSC,  is a key priority’’  that must be addressed  by the present Tinubu’s Administration.

In apparent response to the remarks that had made by the two top officials of the NPCC, Akutah, the Executive Secretary of NSC, who had appreciated the visit of members of the Group and their support to the Council, maintained that that the agency had proposed to start the self- collection of the one percent Freight Stabilization fee in order ‘’to execute its statutory mandate’’.

The major responsibilities of the NSC, according a document sighted by The Value News,  shows that it has ‘’ to facilitate trade and to protect the interest of  shippers by promoting fair practices  and ensuring that shipping  companies  comply  with  approved  standard operating procedures’’. 

Akuta, the present , Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of NSC, may have taken the bold initiative to reposition the Council, because  ‘’Transport is a major determinant  in the  conduct of international trade and impacts  on  national economies’’. There is no gain saying the fact that the availability, quality, cost and efficiency of transport services influence the trading environment and competitiveness on the international market of export goods as well as the cost of imported cargoes.

This may have informed why maritime analyst sees ‘’the NSC, as an agent for economic development through  interventions in cost  moderation  and cargo transport issues’’  , thus resulting  in positive impacts  on inflationary  trends in the country in the recent time.

The NSC helmsman who  had expressed optimism   that the passage of the  bill  which seeks  to repeal  the agency earlier  Act, CAP N133 Laws of the Federal  Republic of Nigeria, FGN,  and next , the Nigerian  Shipping  and Economic Regulatory  Agency  which was said to have passed the Second reading in the House Committee on Shipping Services   of Representatives  will  ‘’bring about  monumental  benefits in the industry ‘’.             

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *