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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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Mayhem in Tin Can as Lagos State Cargo Committee unleashes terror on truckers, kills, maims for extortion.

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Lagos State Cargo and Transport Committee(LASTCOC) has unleashed mayhem on truckers at the Tin Can Island Port in their attempts to impose what is described as illegal fees called “Harmonised Ticket” on the hapless truckers.
The Committee, which was set up with the connivance of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation and led by one Alhaji Lookman Shittu popularly called Zangalo, on February 6th, 2024, allegedly mobilised thugs numbering about five hundred in their uniform, wielding guns and dangerous weapons.
Raising the alarm over the attack, the Chairman, National Association of Maritime Transport Operators (NAMTOP), Adisa Moshood Olaitan, alleged that the attack, which resulted in the death and fatal injuries of the victims, was an attempt by the committee to intimidate truckers to pay the illegal fee.
While acknowledging the prompt intervention of the  Tin Can security of the Nigeria Ports Authority(NPA), the NAMTOP chieftain called on the Lagos State government to quickly intervene in the matter by calling the committee to order.
Olaitan also hailed the Nigerian Maritime Workers union for its solidarity without which he said the association could have recorded higher numbers of casualties in the unprovoked attack.
“We strongly condemn the heinous attack on innocent truckers by members of the Lagos State Cargo and Transport Committee (LASTCOC) on February 6, 2024.
“The committee, led by Alhaji Lookman Shittu AKA Zangalo, mobilised thugs numbering about five hundred in their uniform, wielding guns and dangerous weapons.
“The gang intended to impose an illegal “Harmonised Ticket” on truckers in the state, beginning from Tincan port.
“This move led to the crisis of February 6th, which resulted in the death and injuries of several truckers.
” Such actions are unacceptable and a gross violation of human rights.
“The brutal attack on truckers is a clear indication of the impunity with which some government officials and their associates act in Lagos State.
” It is outrageous that the very people who are supposed to protect citizens are now the ones unleashing violence on them.
“We demand that the Lagos State government takes immediate action to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice.
” The government must also ensure that the illegal “Harmonised Ticket” is not imposed on truckers in the state.
“We have criticised this illegal committee and their intended ticket, the consequences of the imposition of the illegal ticket can best be imagined.
“The illegal committee through their zonal chairmen have been issuing threat to our members in all Local Government areas across the state on the proposed ticket; this is unacceptable.
“We call on the Lagos State government to put an end to the culture of impunity and ensure that those responsible for attacks on innocent citizens are held accountable.
“We urge all stakeholders to work together to find a lasting solution to the challenges facing truckers in Nigeria.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack, and we wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
“We commend the prompt intervention of the Port Security and the Management of the Tincan Island Port.

“We also acknowledge the solidarity of members of the Maritime Workers’Union ( MWUN) without which vulnerable truckers would have been killed in high numbers”, the NAMTOP chairman declared.

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Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority partners NAMTOP to fight against double taxation of truckers

The Eyewitness Reporter
The National Association of Maritime Transport Operators (NAMTOP) has entered into a strategic partnership with the Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority to ensure maritime truckers are not subjected to double taxation along the port corridor.
The collaboration between the two groups was consummated on Monday, February 5th, 2024 when the leadership of NAMTOP led by its Chairman, Adisa Moshood Olaitan, paid a courtesy visit to the office of the Authority in Lagos.
At the core of the discussions between the representatives of the two parties was the need for the Wharf Landing fee Collecting Authority not to subject truckers, who are members of NAMTOP,  to double taxation along the ports corridor.
The Chairman of the Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority, Prince Gboyega Salvador-Adebayo,  who led his team to the parley, assured the truckers’ association of the readiness of the Authority to partner with them and ensure that their members are not subjected to any form of double taxation.
“There shall be no room for double taxation in the state” he declared while reiterating the organisation’s commitment to partnering with NAMTOP to ensure ease of doing business as entrenched in the act that established the organisation.
Prince Salvador -Adebayo, while emphasising the importance of the maritime sector and its operators to the economic well-being of Lagos state, assured that the Lagos state government will not empower any other body or committee to collect revenue from truckers, saying the only authorised fee recognized by law was the Wharf Landing fees which was legalised through legislation.
” The state government shall arrest and prosecute any perpetrator of illegal collection of levies on Lagos roads” Salvador -Adebayo warned.
A visibly elated NAMTOP Chairman, Moshood Olaita, expressed the appreciation of the truckers’  union to their host and assured him of the association’s readiness to partner with Wharf Landing Fee Collecting Authority.
He also reiterated the commitment of his members to creating and supporting a peaceful working environment at the ports through compliance with the laws of the land.
The visitation was a huge success as both parties agreed to work together to ensure that the maritime sector in the state thrives.
The two parties, through their discussions, showed a strong commitment to ensuring that the sector is protected and that operators in the industry are not subjected to unnecessary taxation.
The mutual agreement of the two parties to work together has been described as a sure-footed step towards ensuring ease of doing business in the state.
The collaboration of the two parties may have also sent a warning signal to other illegal groups who are engaged in clandestine activities to subject truckers to extortion through the imposition of other illegal fees.
It could be recalled that the National Chairman of NAMTOP, Adisa Moshood Olaitan, has recently raised the alarm over an attempt by the Lagos State Cargo and Transport Committee to embark on what he described as an illegal collection of dues through the imposition of tickets on maritime truckers.
Even though Olaitan has vowed that his members would resist the illegal collection, the collaboration between NAMTOP and the Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority and their shared commitment not to allow the imposition of illegal fees on truckers may be the necessary antidote to any crisis that may result from such illegalities.
In attendance at the parley include Prince ‘Gboyega Salvador-Adebayo, the Chairman of the Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority,  Mr. Abel Ogunjemilusi, the head of operations of the Authority, Adisa Moshood Olaitan, Chairman of NAMTOP, Mrs. Lara Usman, the  PRO of NAMTOP, Prince Adeyinka Aroyewun, Mr. Hakeem Yusuf, Mr. Muyideen Olapade and Mr. Salami Ismaila.
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Dissolution of COMTUA is figment of imagination- Adeyinka Aroyewun

Comrade Adeyinka Aroyewun, COMTUA National President
The Eyewitness Reporter
The National President of the Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA), Comrade Adeyinka Aroyewun, has dismissed the purported dissolution of the group as a figment of the imagination of sponsors and purveyors of the convoluted falsehood.
Commenting on the persistent belief that the truckers’ union no longer exists, Aroyewun said the group is still alive and kicking and a part of the recently formed larger National Association of Maritime Transport Operators(NAMTOP), a 20-member conglomerate of maritime truck owners and drivers.
In contrast, he said a splinter group called Nexus Association of Maritime Transport Operators was recently registered for individual selfish reasons.
He further disclosed that those who masterminded what he described as the illegal dissolution of COMTUA are currently facing criminal charges while others are at large.
” The National Association of Maritime Transport Operators is a collaboration of Twenty Associations and groups that signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in Lagos State and COMTUA is one of them.
The Communique was signed and issued on the 30th January 2023.
“The newly registered Nexus Association of Maritime Transport Operators (NAMTOP) is registered by a group of individuals for their own interests and not the same as the umbrella body.
“The dissolution of COMTUA exists only in the imagination.
“The Western Port Command Police invited the individuals and groups involved in the illegal dissolution.
“While some are still at large for cases bordering on criminal assemblage, to forgery and impersonation; those who reported were obtained to bail” Aroyewun declared.
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