Shippers Council, FCCPC to protect rights of port ushers, others – Jime

Port users and business owners in the maritime sector will henceforth be protected against unfair charges and unwholesome trade practices as the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) has announced a joint partnership to checkmate such arbitrary activities.

Both agencies said they will put in place a Consumer Protection Regime (CPR) in the shipping and ports sector in Nigeria in order to ensure businesses thrive in the sector.

Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Hon. Emmanuel Jime disclosed that the new collaboration will engender and encourage competition, fair practise and consumer protection.

He spoke at a one day Sensitisation Programme for Stakeholders on Consumer Rights and Responsibilities in the Port and Shipping sector organised by the Nigerian Shippers Council in collaboration with Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) in Lagos.

Jime, represented by the Director, Human Resources Management, Mrs. Ada Okam, affirmed that issues such as infringements by service providers and users in the port industry will henceforth be easily look into while the new policy will help in prosecuting offenders.

“The idea was to bring sanity in the conduct of shipping and ports business to ensure harmony, fair trade practices and efficiency in the sector. He told stakeholders.

He said “This cooperation and collaboration, in the discharge of our respective functions, will entail The encouragement of competition and consumer protection; Prosecution of erring service providers and users; sharing of information and intelligence, consumer education and awareness as well as enforcement and compliance.

“The CPR when instituted will address infringements by service providers and users in the industry as well as enthrone sanity and fair-trade practices in the system section.

“The sensitisation exercise we are having today is in line with part 5.1.5 of the MOU which states that parties shall jointly or individually, sensitize and enlighten the consumers and stakeholders on the rights and responsibilities in relation to shipping matters.

“We plan to conduct sensitization exercises at various port and inland locations to get necessary inputs from stakeholders on how the industry can operate seamlessly with little or no infringement on the rights of users and providers of shipping and port services.”

On his part, Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, Mr. Babatunde Irukera noted that consumers’ rights wherever they find themselves must be protected saying carrying out such functions remains the priority of the commission.

Mr. Irukera, who was represented at the awareness programme by Mr. Tam Tamunokobia, Director, Legal Services of the FCCPC said “We must ensure that the consumer is protected. The issue of consumers should be uppermost in our minds.

“Secondly, to that effect, we need to choose a frontier of our cooperation and collaboration.”

“Where there is effective collaboration, there is no room for fighting, when we collaborate, the consumers will be the beneficiaries.” he added.