Nigerian Shippers’ Council has advised barge operators to take safety seriously and acquire seaworthy barges to protect their investments and the consignments of their clients.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Hassan Bello, advised the members of the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) in a meeting at the Council’s head office in Lagos recently.
Bello said that barge operations have come to stay in the maritime industry because it is helpful to the growth of the economy while he commended BOAN members for their efforts in maritime logistics.
He however said that BOAN must contribute to the sanity of the port’s environment and called for larger stakeholders’ engagement where other key players in the industry come together to discuss issues affecting the industry.
On the issue of pricing, he said many factors must be considered in setting tariffs for barge operations, adding that NSC is looking to set standards on pricing but not that it is fixing prices.
He said if the Council allows unprofessional conduct to happen, there will be accidents or incidents that will have negative effects on the economy.
The President of BOAN, Mr. Edema Keliekume, commended the Council for accepting to meet with BOAN members and urged the regulator to strike a balance between safety and economic gains.
According to him, for the service of the operators to be more affordable to people, there is a need for the cost component not to be high so that it doesn’t make pricing to be high.