The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) have promised to support the re-introduction of Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) by the Nigerian Shipper’s Council (NSC) on the condition that it would not attract charges to shippers.
Both associations made the pledge yesterday during a visit by the NSC team led by its Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello to MAN and NACCIMA in Ikeja Lagos.
While receiving the NSC team at MAN, the President, Frank Njemba Jacobs assured that his association would support the advance cargo information system if it will not add to the cost of doing business at the port.
“We are satisfied with all the explanations that they (NSC) have given to us but we think that the technical members of all the stakeholders should get together and further discuss it.
“But I think it is something that will help us at the end so we are going to support it. We are hoping that it will not attract any cost to the manufacturers in view of the fact that we want to make sure that cost of doing business is reduced. So we are hoping that will be the case,” he said.
He explained that MAN opposed the former CTN under the management of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) because of the high cost it imposed on shippers, as according to him, shipperss were made to pay 150 Euros per container.
He said “although there was adequate consultation with the former CTN but at the end of the day, they came out with a document different from what was agreed in the negotiations”.
Deputy National President of NACCIMA Iyalode Alaba Lawson also assured the council of her association’s support saying that the reintroduction of CTN will not only ease clearance of goods at the port but also enhance government revenue.
“The Shipper Council have our 100 percent supports on the reintroduction of CTN because this will help both the importer and the exporter and enhance revenue of the government. Even cost of demurrage will be lessened. We are in support of anything that will move shippers forward,” she said.
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello reiterated that the Cargo Tracking Note it is introducing will be at no cost to shippers but ease clearance of goods at the port and facilitate trade.
He assured that CTN will not bring about any delay as all the port operators will have advance information of the cargo before they arrive the country adding that it will also help check cases of under-declaration by casual importers.
“The CTN is not a bad policy and what it does is to ease the process of clearing goods from the port because we will have advanced knowledge of the import. This will then be passed to the operators including the shipping companies, NPA and Customs in readiness to receive these cargoes.
“At the point of loading, we already know what is coming and the risk and processes of Nigeria Customs Service and other operators are ready to assimilate these and it will make for faster clearance of cargo.
“In the bill of lading, it is said ‘to contain’ but the new CTN will carry more information so that under-declaration by casual exporters or shippers will be reduced. It is sad to know that said 80 percent of cargoes brought to Nigeria by these categories of shippers are under-declared,” Bello said.
He said when CTN was first introduced it was not in the interest of the economy as it added to the cost of doing business at the port adding that the cost.
“When this policy was introduced, we stood shoulder to shoulder with MAN and made sure that it was reversed because it was not in the interest of the economy. First, it was increasing cost of doing business because the bill was passed to the consumers, our shippers and many other users of these services and there was no credible service attached to it,” he said.
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