The new helmsman of the Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Barr Pius Akutah, has promised to build on the solid Foundation laid by his predecessors. Ukatah who said he was very proud of the landmark achievements he inherited seven weeks ago as Executive Secretary of the Council, vowed not to let the Minister of Marine and Blue, His Excellency, Gboyega Oyetola, down on the performance bond he signed with the Minister. Speaking when a delegation of the League of Maritime Editors paid him a visit in his office Monday, he promised to raise the stakes of the marine and blue economy in its contribution to the nation’s GDP from its current paltry 2per cent by ensuring that the Council took its pride of place as the Maritime economic regulator by growing the sector.. “We have taken concrete steps to activate the cargo tracking note , we intend to deliver the CTN in the 3rd quarter of 2024′, he revealed.
The Shippers Council boss identified some low hanging fruits which he intends to harvest in the next couple of months to include; a bill to ammend 2004 Act which established the Council. He said all things being equal, the bill would be passed into law by the second quarter of 2024, as according to him, deliberations have reached an advanced stage. He expressed worry about the poor funding threshold of the Council which depends on a paltry 2 percent port development levy. Akutah also explained that the Council was taking a second look at agreements it signed with Concessionaires of Inland Dry Ports, which in his thinking are flawed and required urgent review.
The other low hanging fruits he said he would harvest include the promotion of port efficiency which will reduce cargo clearance time from 48hrs to 24 and the introduction of an electronic traffic system.