The Federal Government through the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is fine-tuning arrangements for the re-introduction of Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) on all imports destined for Nigeria.
Confirming this during a recent parley with some journalists in Lagos, Executive Secretary of the Council; Mr Hassan Bello confirmed that the various hiccups and disagreements that led to its suspension about two years ago have all been sorted out.
He added however that the CTN also known as Advance Cargo Declaration System will only come on stream at the end of ongoing consultations with critical stakeholders, especially the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), which had kicked against the system when it was first introduced.
He also assured that the Cargo Tracking Note will attract minimal cost to the shippers, saying that it was for this reason that the Council was in talks with MAN.
He assured that, “the cargo tracking note will soon be reintroduced at a very negligible cost”, even as he explained that the CTN “is a security thing because when we have it, there won’t be smuggling of fire arms and all other contraband”.
“Smuggling of contraband won’t happen because everything coming in will be tracked, we will know the weight of the cargo, values and materials used”, he added.
Apart from stemming the tide of smuggling and blocking revenue leakages, the Shippers Council boss added that the CTN would also help Standard Organisation of Nigeria and National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in their fights against importation of substandard products and fake drugs.
“SON will benefit by knowing whether products being imported are fake or not, NAFDAC will benefit, so I am calling on all the port stakeholders such as manufacturers, shippers and the rest to support this.
He however hinted that, unlike what happened previously when they kicked against it, Bello said this time, MAN has already bought-into the CTN.
“We have already gotten the buy-in of stakeholders in the maritime industry. Before now, it was only the Manufacturers Association and when MAN said we should not do it, we needed to take them serious and I took them serious, but we have won them over, we had about 10 meetings, even a committee was set up and the group nominated the chairman and when the committee came, they supported the idea of the cargo tracking note”. It’s a service to them”, he added.
Shipping Position Daily confirmed that apart from Nigeria, some African countries like: Benin Republic, Togo, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire and Angola, had already introduced CTN.
When it is reintroduced, the CTN is expected to generate about N17Billion annually in the coffers of the federal government realise more than N17billion per annum from all imports into the country.