ORONSAYE REPORT: Shippers Council Targets Self-funding, Begins Collection of 1% Freight Stabilization Fee At Ports


Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Pius Akutah

…At Mgt Retreat, Akutah Says Agency Currently Running on 2% Handouts

…Positions Agency to Employ More Staff


The Nigerian Shippers Council has said that in line with the recommendation of the Steve Oronsaye Panel Report on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions which was recently sanctioned for implementation by President Bola Tinubu, the agency would begin collection of its 1% freight stabilisation fee at all ports in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr Pius Ukeyima Akutah stated this on Thursday at opening ceremony of the Council’s 2024 Strategic Management Retreat with the theme “Unlocking the Potentials of the Marine and Blue Economy for Rapid National Economic Development” held in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Executive Secretary to Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Pius Akutah (8th from right) and the Secretary to Ogun State Government, Tokunbo Talabi who represented Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun in a group photograph with Shippers Council directors and assistant directors

According to him, the Oronsaye report has directed the Nigerian Shippers Council to be self funding and not be given any subvention.

Moving forward, the Shippers Council boss states that collection of the 1% freight stabilisation fee is statutory in the Council’s Act, and that collection would begin from May 2024.

According to him, the Shippers Council is currently running on handout of 2% from the 7% port development levy, adding that this fund is grossly inadequate to plan the finances of the Council.

Akutah also assured that the 1% freight stabilisation fee would not add to the cost of doing business at the ports.

“The Oronsaye Panel Report is very clear on what Shippers Council should do, as much as other agencies have been merged together, some were completely disbanded, but the Nigerian Shippers Council under that report is suppose to generate its own revenue and be self funding.
It is now, more than ever before that the Council needs to raise its revenue profile.

Barr Pius Akutah (1st from right) Mrs Ada Okam and another senior management staff of the Shippers Council during the Strategic Management Retreat in Abeokuta, Ogun State

“The 1% freight stabilisation fee is a statutory funding for the agency, it is in our Act, but over time, the agency have not been able to implement that fee, now is the best time for us to go ahead and implement that.

“The 2% of 7% Port Development Levy which we have been using as source of funding for the Council, we can then leave that, because according to Oronsaye Panel, we are not supposed to be given any subvention.

“Once we achieve our 1% freight stabilisation fee which is statutory, we are not going to be asking for the 2% port development levy anymore, then we can start looking also for other sources of funding which we have responsibilities to fund the national budget and contribute to the national GDP.

“What the Shippers Council would be doing, going forward is to ensure we raise our revenue. Our regulations would be very friendly, they would be economic driven to ensure that we take up the role of a revenue generating agency and ensure that people profit from their investments.

“The Honourable Minister had given us a time frame of two weeks which has expired and we are working hard on it, we are developing a cost benefit analysis so that we can be able to manage our case very well when we talk about this fund, people might think that it would add to the cost of doing business, but actually, if you look at the cost benefit analysis, you would know that it doesn’t add up to the cost of doing business”

National Coordinator of Shippers Council’s, Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) Comrade Moses Fadipe and other Directors and Assistant Directors of Shippers Council

“If we have can achieve our 1% freight stabilisation fee and we begin to have the collection on a daily basis, we would not be waiting for someone at the end of the month to give us a handout to run the Council” Barr Akutah assured.

The Shippers Council Executive Secretary assured that the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) is another source of income for the Council and for Nigeria.

“When we have the ICTN implemented, it would be a major source of revenue, not only for the Council, but for Nigeria, it would grow our economy, and with that, we would contribute to the national GDP”

As part of the Council’s 3-years Strategic Plan commencing 2024 to 2027 which the Retreat is designed to come up with, Barr Akutah said the Shippers Council would be embarking on promotion of staff, even as he lamented that there is more senior staff in the agency than the junior staff.

“Promotion is a key element in driving productivity in any establishment, so we would consider the issue of promotion. However, it would also be by a system that ensures that there is growth and also recognise contribution of individuals, it would be a reward system for people who put in their best.

“We have seen that the Council is in dare need of more staff, we have seen a situation where the top is heavy, while the middle and down is very lean, and we have a top which I believe that in the next one year, so many of our Directors exiting the system, so what do we do to replace them, we need to act very fast” he said

Barr Akutah also assured that by August 2024, the agency is going paperless with all its operations, adding that the Council is embracing digital solutions to reduce bureaucracy.

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