Appflon Condemns Exclusion Of Stakeholders Input On The Review Of Port Concession Agreement

Condemnations have trailed the exclusion of major stakeholders in the maritime industry,most especially, the Nigerian Shipper’s Council (NSC), by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) from making input on the the preparation of what seems to be a surreptitious concession agreement.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, the 9th of April, 2020,by the African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APPFLON),and made available to the media, its National President,Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, said that the exclusion of the Nigerian Shipper’s Council and other stakeholders from making inputs on the Ports concession agreement is an indication that the process lacked transparency as it was  shrouded in secrecy, calling on all stakeholders to reject the agreement in its entirety for the good of the industry in particular and Nigeria in general.
Earlier on, the Shipper’s Association,Lagos State (SALS) through its President,Rev Dr.Jonathan Nicole, had lent its voice condemning the exercise as it beckoned on the Federal Government of Nigeria to turn down any port concession agreement prepared by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) without inputs by industry stakeholders, insisting that it would be foolhardy on the side of the Government to accept another port concession agreement that was secretly prepared by the NPA without the knowledge and inputs of industry key players.
In the same vein, Freight Forwarders have also shown displeasure for the sad development accusing NPA of reneging on earlier promises to interface with stakeholders after close door meetings with Terminal Operators. 
The condemnations came up as aftermath of the protest letter written to the Federal Ministry of Transport by the Executive Secretary of NCS,Mr.Hassan Bello in which he demanded for due process.
Meanwhile, APPFLON through its National President, unequivocally, condemned the process of the concession agreement, saying that the exclusion of the Nigeria Shipper’s Council and other stakeholders from the entire exercise was shocking, describing it as a great insult on the sensibilities of Nigerians, as well as an affront to all the industry Operators .
Furthermore, Otunba Ogunojemite lamented that Nigerian Shipper’s Council (NSC) as port economic regulator, shouldn’t have by any reason be shut out of the concession agreement, in his words,” we are talking of the economic regulator which is Shipper’s Council, why should it be excluded from such critical development. This is obviously a tussle for power and influence in the Port industry, but it is uncalled for. NPA should realize that it would subject the nation’s port sector to numerous challenges that wouldn’t have been if stakeholders were given the opportunity to make inputs”.
Otunba Ogunojemite pointed out that neglecting the Nigerian Shipper’s Council’s input on  policy making in the maritime sector is indirectly stripping it of its statutory powers (if any), thereby placing it on a pedestal where it would be seen as serving no practical purpose. He went further to urge the Government to empower the body with the needed instrument of authority to enable it carry out its regulatory duties efficiently, and to the betterment of the Maritime sector.
He went ahead and urged the Minister of Transport to intervene in the matter by calling NPA to order, and to ensure that the NSC, freight forwarders, Shipper’s,  Customs and others relevant industry stakeholders are allowed to make inputs on the review.ReplyForward

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