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Nigeria may reintroduce Cargo Tracking Note to stem rising insecurity.

John Johnson
Worried by the rising incidents of insecurity in the country, Nigerian Government may reintroduce the controvesial Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) at the Nigerian sea ports.
The move is to profile all imports through the sea ports into the country with a view to identifying and curtailling the importation of arms and ammunitions.
To this end, President Mohammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to  put the  relevant government agency on notice to kick start the programme.
Buhari, who is shopping for ideas to beef up security in the country, has been convinced that CTN could play a crucial role in enabling the nation address the growing spate of banditry, kidnappings and restiveness fueled by easy access to guns.

Amaechi has therefore directed the Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC), the implementing agency, to commence preparation to undertake the responsibility of administering CTN as it takes off.

The Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) or the ECTN (Electronic Cargo Tracking Note), is a system for collecting documents and processing information, when exporting by sea in order to obtain prior information, to participate in security measures, statistics, and generally in order to participate in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) recommendations on trade facilitation and security.

Shippers’ Council has been encouraged to introduce the system in a way that shouldn’t add to the cost of doing business at the ports, but enable the nation to track imports from ports of origin to drastically reduce import of arms.

Recall that in 2017 alone, 2671 pump-action rifles were intercepted at Nigerian seaports. The guns were legally registered for export in Turkey as pump-action rifles for hunting but the manifests were changed in Morocco to become steel doors to enable the container gain entry into Nigeria.

With CTN, however, Nigeria would have been able to see the original manifests from Turkey and intercept the guns before the consignments arrived in Nigeria.

Twenty-four African countries presently use CTN and these nations include; Angola, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana and Guinea.

Others include; Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Togo.

Although CTN has had two stints at Nigerian ports previously, under the administration of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and later NSC, Nigeria would have to prequalify the possible companies via a bidding process.

Speaking on the reintroduction of CTN, a maritime lawyer, technocrat and Director of Education and Research in the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Dr. Alban Igwe said CTN remains the best answer to issues of anomalies and security challenges in the country.

Igwe explained that this was because CTN will improve the security and safety of the supply chain as it will profile cargoes being imported into the country.

“The objective is to improve the security and safety of the supply chain and help us see the profile of products we are bringing in. It will help us know the origin and destination of cargoes and help us know our enemies,” he said.

Besides insecurity, CTN has also been described as the best platform in checking revenue leakages in   imports as well as obtaining information about the content of the cargoes.

CTN will address situations in which importers under-invoice their goods from the suppliers at the point of purchases to pay less duties. The platform will check the trend to ensure manifests are not tampered with by ships for the purpose of cheating on GT.

The Executive Secretary, NSC, Barrister Hassan Bello, whose Council is to handle CTN describes it as “another instrument that will add tremendously in shipping development”.

According to Bello, “It will boost the revenue of the government in customs revenue collection in the sense that it will abate under – declaration and concealment. It will boost the revenue of NPA because there will be no more alteration of the manifests. It will boost the revenue of NIMASA because under – declaration on the weight of ships will not be there any longer.

CTN is also a veritable source of data and some economic experts describe this as the best quality of the electronic based platform.

“You will know everything that is coming into your country. We have had many African countries having this because it is the initiation of the Union of African Shippers Council (UASC),” the NSC boss said about CTN last year

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Headlines

 Lagos government imposes N800 harmonised daily levy on transporters

—-moves to scrap collection of multiple levels by transport Unions
Eyewitness reporter
In a move to stop daily harassment and extortions of Lagos transporters by transport unions in the state, the Lagos State government has introduced a harmonised daily levy of N800 on all the transporters in the state.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, who revealed this at the agreement-signing ceremony by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local councils and transport unions, said that the consolidated levy collection will start February 1st, 2022.
He stated that the harmonised levy became expedient to ensure that the transport sector in the state is organised and fits into a 21-century economy.
 Olowo added that the consolidated levy takes into consideration all the elements in a sane society.
According to him, the levy takes care of dues previously accrued to local councils across the state, as well as revenue for Lagos Waste Management Authority (LASWA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) among other MDAs.
He said that the state government expects that once a transporter pays the N800 at a point, he or she is expected not to pay at any other park or bus stop throughout the day.
He also said that the government expects that union members will not collect levies from transporters as they are not expected to pay at every bus stop or park.
Olowo said the consolidated levy would reduce the multiplicity of levies collection as many residents and transporters have complained about the huge levies unions often collected.
 The commissioner also made an allusion to a report about the N150bn that transport unions collect in Lagos under the disguise of collecting dues, saying the new development will eliminate multiple taxes.
However, stakeholders believed that the move by the Lagos state government will add additional burden to transporters and commuters in the state as the transport unions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) are not likely to stop the collection of their daily multiple dues which are unjustifiably imposed on the hapless transporters.
Analysts also faulted the lukewarm approach of the state government towards total eradication of the multiple levies of the transport unions which they believe are part of the causes of the increase in transport fares in the state as these levies are passed on to the commuters.
“Hearing the Finance commissioner speak, it is obvious that the state government is interested in the collection of its own dues from the transporters while glossing over the multiple dues being collected by the transport unions which he merely advised not to collect any further due after the  daily payment of N800”
“This will add more burden to the transporters and commuters as the daily payment of the so-called harmonised N800 will be an addition to the already existing multiple levels by the transport unions” a stakeholder in the transport industry noted.
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Headlines

Federal government woos Greek investors to transport industry

His Execellency, Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, (1st left), Snr. Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang (2nd left), H.E, Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, Opunimi Akinkugbe (3rd left), DG NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (4th left), Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (5th left), Acting MD NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko (6th left) and other dignitaries during the summit.
Eyewitness reporter
The Federal Government of Nigeria has opened fresh talks with leading businesses in Greece on Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) in the transport and allied sectors of the economy.
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi led a team of Chief Executives of parastatals under his Ministry to the 2021 Greek-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce & Technology (GNCCT) and Investment Summit, held in Athens on 29 -30 November 2021.
The Minister’s delegation includes Mohammed Bello-Koko, Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bank of Industry CEO Olukayode Pitan, and Acting CEO of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Emeka Offor.
The Nigerian ambassador to Greece, H.E Opunimi Akinkugbe, and Country’s Ambassador to Germany, H.E Yusuf Maitama Tuggar were among the eminent persons at the summit.
The Athens investment summit focused on discovering high net worth investments in maritime transport, aquaculture, circular economy, education, and manufacturing.
The meeting called for increased collaboration between Greece and Nigerian businesses, including relaxation of travel and trade restrictions.
The Greek-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce & Technology (GNCCT) was founded in 1999, to promote bilateral business and investment activities between the Greek and Nigerian private sector.
The non-profit organization provides information, networking opportunities, and other services to its members.
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Headlines

NRC conducts public tender for 1,100 bidders over 2021 capital projects

Eyewitness reporter

The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Mr Fidet Okhiria has said the Corporation had begun the processing of Expression of Interest (EOI) by the 1,100 bidders for 2021 capital projects.

Okhiria revealed this Thursday during the exercise at the Railway Headquarters in Lagos.

Okhiria, who was represented at the event by Director, Operations of NRC, Mr Niyi Alli, said the processing was conducted publicly for transparency, in line with the Procurement Act.

Okhiria stated that after the technical evaluation of the proposals by the bidders, the qualified bidders would be selected for specific projects.

The NRC boss added that the agency adhered to COVID-19 protocols by allowing 150 bidders at a time during the processing of their documents.

He said the corporation would move to the next stage of the project in two weeks’ time, after processing all the expression of interest documents.

While speaking, the Director of Procurement of NRC, Mr Benjamin Iloanusi, said the corporation advertised the available projects in daily newspapers, Federal Tenders journals and on its website.

Iloanusi said over 1,100 documents were received, and that due to the Convid-19 pandemic, the NRC decided to restrict the processing of the bidders to 150 per session.

“At the close of the seven weeks advert notice, we now opened their documents in the public and in the presence of some Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and the bidders.

“We are checking the eligibility of presented documents such as Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Industrial Training Fund Certificate (ITF) among others,” Oloanusi said.

Some of the bidders expressed satisfaction with the open bidding.

One of the bidders, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), High Destiny Security Ltd., Mr Daniel Tishene, submitted that the opening of the project tender was highly transparent.

Tishene said he was able to use the processing to submit additional documents such as a medical retainer, professional indemnity, insurance policy and other required documents by the NRC.

The Manager Director, RightWay Insurance Nigeria Ltd., Miss Williams Damilola, also testified that the processing was transparent.

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