Shippers’ Council set to reintroduce CTN
Eyes N17bn annual revenue generation
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NCS) has hinted of plans to reintroduce the contentious Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy for all imports into the country, which is expected to generate a whooping N17billion in annual revenue into government coffers.
To achieve a hitch free policy drive, the Council has brought into the negotiation table all critical stakeholders, even as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is believed to have wholeheartedly identified with the present effort, having cleared all its doubts about the sincere intention of government in this regard, in addition to firm assurances that the cost implication of the new policy initiative will be negligible with no focus on profit making other than achieving a smooth operation of the framework.
The Executive Secretary/CEO of NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello, told reporters in Lagos last week that the reintroduction became inevitable as the only sure way to checkmate the growing national insecurity which is aimed at plugging all loopholes through which arms and ammunition are smuggled into the country, in addition to combat frontally, perceived abysmal performances of revenue collection management occasioned by alleged huge revenue leakages, perpetrated through dubious cargo documentations and unreliable cargo manifests.
Thereafter, the NSC introduced the policy in 2015 and was again, immediately overwhelmed by stakeholders widespread criticism. Again, it was suspended indefinitely, until now. The CTN also known as Advance Cargo Declaration System (ACDS) is a global monitoring initiative designed to verify the position of cargo in transit, from port of origin to port of destination. Its importance in the Nigerian port system cannot be over emphasized, not only because it will strengthen government security effort at containing the implosion of unauthorized importation of arms and ammunition that is currently in wide circulation illegally, the implementation of the CTN is expected to drive up the effort in also combating, reducing and or, bringing to a possible end, the maddening abuses government revenue collection system accruing from importation has been mercilessly, subjected.
These sharp practices which takes the form of cargo under-declaration and manifests faking and concealments have continually eroded the federal government coffers, which has also significantly slowed down government capacity to deliver on several fronts, be it social or economic infrastructure, capital projects and recurrent expenditure such as efficient salary/wage management etc.
The Shippers’ Council boss whose believable personality, sincerity of purpose and pragmatism has in the past four years attracted significant industry trust, assured that government have no intention of using the CTN to trade for more money other than increase utmost fidelity in cargo importation and shipping business.
His words, “The Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) would soon be reintroduced at a very negligible cost. CTN is a security thing because when we have it, there won’t be smuggling of fire arms and all other contrabands. Smuggling of contrabands won’t happen because anything coming in will be tracked. We will know the weight of the cargo, values and materials used.
“SON and NAFDAC will benefit by knowing whether products being imported are fake or not. I am calling on all the port stakeholders such as manufacturers, shippers and the rest to support this. That is why the NSC wants to develop the port community system because what the port need is unity. There is need for everyone to come together on a platform to know what the other is doing. It is good for data collection, for planning, and for you to know your customers.
“We have already gotten the buy-in of stakeholders before now. It was only the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and when MAN says we should not do things, we need to take them serious and I took them serious. But we have won them over. We had about ten meetings, even a committee was set up and the group nominated the chairman, and when the committee came, they supported the idea of the CTN. It is a service to them”.