By Joshua Yousouph
Stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime industry have expressed divergent views over Federal Government’s plan to implement the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN). This is even as some blamed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for not doing the needful in terms of cargo inspection and clearance at the ports.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily last week, Deputy National President, Air Logistics, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Segun Musa noted that the International Cargo Tracking Note is an “intellectual fraud”. He said Cargo Tracking Note does not exist in any African country. Musa however noted the ICTN is just a ploy to generate revenue for the government by extorting freight forwarders
“There is nothing like a Cargo Tracking Note. It is a fraud. We don’t have anything like Cargo Tracking Note in any part of African. The components of the Tracking Note were part of Pre-Shipment Inspection Note during that regime and when we commenced destination inspection, it was jettisoned and some people took advantage of that risk component to start a money-spinning platform.
Musa however blamed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for not doing the needful. He noted that issuance of Risk Assessment Report (RAR) by the Customs is an incomplete document which has probably influenced the initiation of the International Cargo Tracking Note.
“You will recall that even in the days of RAR, there was nothing like CTN because the players were able to capture essential parts of the risk components. Unfortunately, when Customs took over, they were only interested in revenue capturing without seeing the importance of risk management at the origin. I have said at several occasions that the Customs issuance of RAR is an incomplete document hence the manifestation of this fraudulent document. If the Customs has done the needful, there won’t be need for this intellectual fraud named CTN”, Musa argued.
On his part, the Coordinator of the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) Mr. Moses Fadipe noted that the ICTN was initially implemented some years ago, but was unsuccessful.
Fadipe noted that the Cargo Tracking Note is a necessary tool needed in the nation’s port system as adopted by our countries. He said the tool will help the examination and tracking of cargoes from its origin which will in-turn make the carriers liable for any infraction.
“The Advanced Tracking Note is a tool we need in this country. A lot of countries all over the world have adopted it. Even in the West African countries, we see Cargo Tracking Notes Why not in Nigeria? These are tools that will enable you to know the origin of what is coming in. It makes the carriers liable. The present arrangement we have now does not make the carrier liable. But the Cargo Tracking Note will make you liable for what you bring in from its origin and when anything is found, you are going to be liable for it” Fadipe said.
The NPPM boss however called on all stakeholders to embrace the Federal Government’s initiative to reintroduce the Tracking note in order to ensure efficiency at the ports. “Let all the stakeholders in this industry see the reasons behind this Cargo Tracking Note and let the government implement it. There is a need for us to push for it. With that, we will have everything going on fine in our ports”, he concluded.
On his part, a former President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders; Dr. Eugene Nweke, said the move by the Minister of Transportation to bring the ICTN on board is not in national interest, but the vested interests of certain individuals. He also noted that the system is only concerned with who gets what without how and where it is got from.
“In this current administration, vested interest is the order of the day and not national interests. Who gets what without how and where is the way the system thrives. When it will end, no one knows. There is nothing to say again under this administration” Nweke lamented.
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