- Chairman, House Committee on Shipping Services, Abdulsamad Dasuki (third right, down), Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Akutah Pius Ukeyima (second left) and some senior executives of the agency during the opening ceremony of their ongoing strategy retreat in Lagos
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Legislations to strengthen the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to effectively discharge its roles as Port Economic Regulator and drive improved revenue generation will be ready soon, the Chairman of House Committee on Shipping Services, Abdulsamad Dasuki, has said.
Dasuki, who noted that revenue results in the maritime sector was low due to regulatory lapses, listed the expected legislations as the Nigerian Shipping Commission, (which changes the agency’s status from council to commission), and the Transport Commission Bill.
Declaring open a strategy retreat for the NSC senior executives, with the theme, “Strengthening the Economic Regulation of the Marine and Blue Economy for Sustainable Development,” he said the House Committee would introduce necessary legislative changes to make the agency proactive in enforcing industry standards as catalyst to stimulate economic growth.
“One significant proposal involves the repeal and re-enactment of the Shippers’ Council Act as the maritime sector regulator,” Dasuki stated.
“The committee is actively working on the legislation, which had previously gained approval in both chambers during the last assembly. However, it faced setback as it did not receive presidential assent.
“Furthermore, the committee is actively engaged in the Transport Commission Bill, advocating for the establishment of the Nigerian Shipping Commission. A thorough evaluation will be conducted to determine the legislation most beneficial to the Nigerian economy.”
According to him, the proposed legislative changes are the committee’s proactive approach to addressing the current challenges in the maritime sector to pave way for a revitalised and thriving industry.
Dasuki said the takeaways from the proposed status change for the NSC include that as Nigerian Shipping Commission, not a council, “you are to be independent, you are to be a commission. You are the regulator of this very important mission.
“I have said it before and I will say it again, the maritime sector is expected to deliver nothing less than 20 per cent of our GDP, but now it is being 1 per cent or less. So, together with you, we will sit down and deliberate this and God willing, we will see what is coming from the panacea.
It is “for this ministry to achieve its set goals, and before all of us today is one of those goals. You are one of the most critical pillars in this sector.
“With due respect to my colleagues in the National Assembly, we are part of a problem that Nigeria is facing today. If we had done the needful, if we had done the oversight expected from us, I believe we shouldn’t be where we are today at the moment.”
In his address earlier, the NSC Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Akutah Pius Ukeyima, has urged the senior executive members of staff of the agency to brace up for on “a collective endeavour that holds profound significance for the future of our nation’s economic landscape.”
Stating that the NSC has long been at the forefront of catalysing innovation, championing progress and navigating the dynamic waters of global trade, he said the retreat marked a strategic convergence of wisdom, expertise and foresight.
“Our focus on economic regulation underscores a profound understanding that effective governance, equitable practices and strategic policies serve as the bedrock for fostering a thriving blue economy,” he said.
“As we delve into discussions, debates and sharing of ideas in the course of this retreat, let us remain steadfast in our dedication to charting a course that maximises economic potential while safeguarding our marine resources for generations to come.”
Having committed to the performance bond at the ministerial committee weeks ago, he said “the council has pledged to unwavering dedication to accountability, efficiency and delivering results that exceed expectations.
“This commitment should solidify our resolve to serve with utmost efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, it is incumbent on us as an organisation to align our Key Performance Indicators to that of the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy as contained in the performance Bond signed with the minister.
“This shall be the basis for measuring our performance as an organisation. Consequently, I enjoin us to give in our individual and collective effort to work assiduously to take our organisation to an enviable height among its contemporaries in the ministry.
“Together, we possess the collective intellect, experience, and determination needed to unlock the untapped potential of our maritime and blue economic space.
“Let us embrace collaboration, innovation and an unwavering commitment to excellence as we navigate the intricacies of our regulatory frameworks and harness the transformative power of sustainable practices.”