Compiled by Joshua Yousouph
Dr. Segun Musa (Deputy National President, Air and Logistics, NAGAFF)
The ICTN or CTN will be resisted at all levels because it is an instrument of intellectual fraud. You will recollect that when it was first introduced, it served no purpose, aside being a conduit to stylishly defraud innocent Nigerians because any additional cost to importation will be paid by innocent Nigerians. Having realised that it is a fraud when it was first introduced at the aviation sector, I called on like-minded stakeholders and catalogued the need to resist its implementation in the airport, and they bought the idea and eventually we shot it down by involving IATA who was willing to sanction Nigeria if the attempt any form of illegality. Unfortunately, the ugly monster has raised its ugly head again with expedited approval from the presidency, knowing fully well that the government needs money and will be willing to approve anything that brings in additional income without investment. Our message to the government now is that having realised that Nigeria needs more income to finance the budget, we humbly appeal to the government not to use the blood of Nigerians to finance the budget because the situation in the country is too bad to be worse. My proposal, therefore, is for the government to use part of the idle 1% CISS to fund the ICTN if it is of compulsory need because that was what the surcharge was meant for.
Dr Eugene Nweke
All past and present intrigues focus on revenue aspects, while under-emphasizing on the overall security contents of the ICTN implementation. For me, it is a healthy development, but, the ICTN contents has to be reviewed to meet the present industry realities and objectives. Within this period of withdrawal of the policy, many trade changes have occurred, hence, a fine-tune is apt. The ICTN implementation has never been revenue-driven.
Babatunde Mukaila (National Secretary, ANLCA)
It will definitely increase the overhead landing cost of imported goods. We have pre arrival Clean Report of Inspection (CRIA) from NAFDAC on imported goods. Equally, pre-arrival Standard Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP). Both at a very high cost seeking to standardise products. The question is why are we still having fake, wrong declarations and substandard cargo influx. Surely, Cargo tracking Note is another food on the table for the boys.
Rev. Jonathan Nicole (Former President, SALS)
It depends on the people who are operators of the system. The government has made a categorical statement. After all, it was the Shippers’ Council that designed and introduced it. We believe that the Shippers Council who are the originators will handle it effectively. They have appointed consultants to handle it and the Shippers Council will supervise it. But we don’t want the funding to be passed to the shippers. We don’t know the arrangement that they have with the consultants that are to handle it. There should be adequate plans for the funding by the government and not creating an avenue where they will start striving to have a slice of the cake from shippers.
Francis Omotoso (Registrar, NAGAFF Academy)
The objective of the Cargo Tracking Note is not very clear and that is why the stakeholders rejected it. For me, whatever tracking system government wishes to introduce to help monitor cargo movement from anywhere to Nigeria should not be at cost to the importer, government should do that just for the purpose of security reason and beside importers have paid so much to different government agencies just for the same overall objective of tracking what comes into the country. Out rightly, it is the pure responsibility of the government to do that without demanding money from the importers. We are paying so much taxes, permit, dues, levy, duty, and all kinds of fees to the government to achieve the same purpose.
Innocent Elum (BoT Secretary, AREFFN)
I am aware that they have been trying to introduce it in the past but it wasn’t possible. For me, it is the best that can happen to us. But I don’t know if it will actually kick-off. Forming a programme is one, implementation is another. The programme failed in its implementation during the tenure of the other ministers. So if it is properly implemented now with sincerity that is saying one thing and doing another, then I think that will be best. This is because the risk involved in the importation of goods will be minimised. So I believe it can work, if it can be implemented.
Stanley Ezenga (General Secretary, Western Zone NAGAFF)
I think the reason the Cargo Tracking Note has not taken off is because of the politics behind it. In Nigeria, before government officials approve a project they just have to think on making sure their interest is well taken care of. If otherwise, then the project or policy will not fly. The government players saddled with the implementation have sat on it overtime because their interests were not factored; that is why it has not been able to work.
When it came on board, we were all excited because you will know exactly what is in your container from the port of origin, so that the issue of ambiguity will not arise.
If the government is sincere about the implementation, of course they have the muscles to do it, then it will work. However, clashes of interest have not been able to make it work. The government should put their feet on ground and make sure it works because it is going to be of great benefit to Nigerians.
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