BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Contrary to a wide held impression in some quarters that the proposed National Transport Commission (NTC) Bill has been trashed after repeated presidential rejection for its assent, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has given a glimmer of hope that the NTC Bill may yet see the light of the day.
The Executive Secretary/CEO Council. Hon. Emmanuel Jime who dropped the hint during an exclusive interview with Pinnacle Time, however noted that the NTC Bill would be represented as an Executive Bill.
While expressing sadness over the delay in securing presidential approval that the troubled NTC Bill has also undergone intensive review and reworking and is ready to be taken to the next stage by the Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Senator Gboyega Oyetola.
Asked what the plan of the council and ministry is regarding the withholding of assent by President Muhammadu Buhari before his departure, Jime explained that while the assent to the bill is still being awaited, the council has nonetheless remained focused and has been taken proactive steps to continually strengthen its oversight functions.
“The National Transport Commission Bill would have been a major game changer to the entire transport industry and the non-passage of the bill has been a major concern to industry stakeholders.
“The bill was expected to address so many industry challenges, particularly to regulate the entire components and facets of operations in the transport industry. While we await the NTC, it is important we look inward to strengthen the Nigerian Shippers Council Act.
“The aim is to enshrine all presidential orders and regulations and every other legal instrument that empowers the Council in the Act. You may wish to recall that on three occasions, the law was passed by the National Assembly and for some reasons, the presidential assent was not granted, neither was the bill sent back to the National Assembly at the last attempt.”
He continued: “We have initiated the process to this effect and a committee has already produced a draft “Amended Act” which was forwarded to our parent Ministry. The out gone Hon. Minister then constituted a committee that produced the final draft. It is hoped that the bill will soon be presented to the National Assembly as an Executive bill for consideration and assent.”
Also speaking on the delay in the take off of the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), the NSC boss explained the CTN will come on stream immediately after all due processes have been wrapped up.
“The delay can be attributed to the processes and stages we have to go through before the implementation. Presently, we are consulting with relevant authorities to ensure smooth and successful take-off and implementation of the scheme
“Likewise, we have adequately briefed the Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy on the processes and implementation strategy for the Scheme. Once we are done with the necessary paperwork and the processes are concluded, we will adequately sensitize all stakeholders involved in implementing the Scheme.”
Jime assured that immediately after the sensitization stage which is not too distant, the deployment of service and execution of the signed agreement will be implemented.