From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, has said the House is proposing a bill for the establishment of a shipping regulatory agency due to its economic benefits to the country.

Abbas stated this on Monday while declaring open a public hearing on the bill for the “Repeal of the Nigeria Shippers’ Council Act (CAP. N133, LFN., 2004) and enactment of the Nigeria Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency,” organized by the House Committee on Shipping Services, Port and Harbor, Maritime Safety, Education, and Administration.

Abbas, who was represented by the chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli, said the proposed legislation is geared toward the growth, development, and diversification of the economy.

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He stated that the agency, if established, would also create an enabling environment for private sector participation in the provision and operation of regulated services in Nigeria, amongst others.

According to him, “This re-enacted bill not only seeks to ensure that the proposed agency establishes an economic regulatory framework for effective and efficient regulation of commercial and related activities in the shipping and port sector but also aims to create an enabling environment for private sector participation in the provision and operation of regulated services in Nigeria, amongst others.

“It is worthy of note that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has evolved significantly from its original role as a protector of shippers’ interests. It has now become the economic regulator of the entire Nigerian port system, a responsibility that extends beyond the Nigerian Ports Authority to include all stakeholders within the port ecosystem. This comprehensive oversight covers the regulation and control of tariffs, rates, charges, and other economic services associated with port operations.

“To effectively fulfil its expanded mandate as the Port Economic Regulator, it is imperative therefore that the necessary legislative bill is passed. This bill will formally empower the Council, providing it with the authority and tools required to oversee and manage the economic activities within Nigerian ports, ensuring efficiency, fairness, and competitiveness across the sector.”


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