The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has urged investors to consider investing in building of gree field seaports, development of Container depots/yards and Inland Container Depots (ICDs) in the Nigerian port industry.
Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello made this call a the recent Nigeria Maritime Finance Fair, held in Lagos by the Association of Maritime Journalist of Nigeria (AMJON), noted that reforms of maritime sectors have thrown up quite a vast opportunities for investment in the sector.
He said: “The recent reforms have witnessed a subtle, but profoundly progressive revolution in Nigeria’s maritime sector. It has changed and continued to change the way business is done within the sector. The Cabotage policy of government, Port reform policy which led to the concession of cargo handling services to private terminal operators in 2006 and appointment of NSC as the Port Economic Regulator among others, served to influence the contents and directions of investment in maritime sector in Nigeria.”
According to him, the upsurge in the volume of general cargo handled from 54,473,850 mt in 2007 to 84,951,927mt in 2014 and 71,535,635mt in 2017, has created investment opportunities in many more areas like Inland Dry Ports (IDPs), Off- Dock Bonded warehouses/Freight stations, logistics / haulage transportation service (including rail, roads and inland water transportation services) and truck yards/parks; among many others.
In a paper titled:“The Role the Commercial Regulator in Creating Conducive Environment for Investors/Financiers in Nigeria’s Emerging Private Sector Driven Port Industry, Bello said that Nigeria’s large reserve of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) created activities in the maritime sector, thereby providing investment opportunities in the supply of marine equipment for storage and transportation of oil products, supply of tug boat services, security patrol boats, supply vessels (for bunkering and chandelling services), Waste collection boats, vessel repair yards, Independent power generation, transmission and distribution, residential, tourisms and free zones for oil and gas etc.
Bello, further said that the regulatory role of NSC in the Nigerian ports seeks to ensure the protection of investors/ Consumers of services; Ensure that the markets are fair, efficient and transparent; as well as ensure the reduction of systemic risks and crimes.
According to him, the role of NSC in encouraging private sector investment in the port sector which was highlighted in section 3 (i) of its regulations, 2015; equally ensures the maintenance of consumers’ confidence in the market place.
He stated that the duty of commercial regulator is to; “Contribute to the maintenance of an open market that can be participated by widest range of appropriate participants with no un-necessary barriers to entry and exits. Provide an equal regulatory standard on all participants that meet minimum criteria.”