Shippers Council, FCCPC sensitise stakeholders on consumer rights, responsibilities


By Abiodun OBA

The Nigerian Shippers Council and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, CPC, on Tuesday, sensitized industry stakeholders on consumer rights and responsibilities in the port and shipping sector.

The Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, at the event in Apapa, Lagos, disclosed that NSC has partnered with CPC to establish a consumer protection regime in the shipping and port sector.

Jime who was represented at the event by the Director of Human Affairs, NSC, Mrs Adaku Okam, said the CPR intends to ascertain the challenges of various regulated service providers and users and to propose solutions.

He disclosed that the collaboration started in 2020 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies.

Jime also said that the CPR when established, would address the issue of infringement of rights.

“The CPR aims to achieve seamless operations with little or no infringements of rights, we will use the platform to disseminate sector-based information on the subject and provide an avenue for stakeholders to give feedback on infringements of rights and possible areas that need improvement if necessary.”

Speaking on the MoU, he disclosed that the agreement was to collaborate and work together on specific areas of concern for the two agencies in the shipping and ports industry.

He said, “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.”

Jime said that corporation and collaboration will also ensure the encouragement of competition and consumer protection.

“And prosecution of erring service providers and users related matters, sharing of information and intelligence, consumer education and awareness as well as enforcement and compliance,” he said.

Jime said that the sensitisation exercise is in line with some parts of the MOU.

The NSC boss added that there are plans by the agencies to conduct sensitisation exercises at various ports and inland locations.

Jime explained that the essence of the sensitisation is 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.

“This is to ensure that all stakeholders are carried along in the process of developing the CPR so as to build trust and confidence before rolling out the scheme.”

“As we are all aware, the shipping industry comprises various players who in the course of daily transactions are bound to trample and infringe on each other’s rights. These players have rights that are spelt out in the FCCPC Act to include,”

Jime said that the sector of today looks as if there is chaos everywhere.

“However, when the CPR becomes fully operational, we expect a change of behaviour in the conduct of shipping and ports business in Nigeria.”

Earlier the Executive Vice Chairman, FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, said, there is welfare for consumers whether, freight forwarders, shippers, or any other practitioner.

Irukera who was represented at the event by the Director of Legal Services, FCCPC, Mr Tam Tamunokobia, commended the NSC for the corporation.

He said, “In everything we do the consumers should be first whether at the port. At the point of agreeing, we must ensure that the consumer is protected. We need to push the frontiers of our cooperation and collaboration to a higher level and I commend the council for collaborating with us. We need to collaborate effectively, if you look at the council’s act and ours in both ways collaboration is highlighted.

“Where there is effective collaboration, we find out that there is no room for fighting for an area or the person in charge of a place. When we collaborate, the consumers will be the beneficiaries.”

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