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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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News Alert! Tricycle operators protest multiple ticketing in Lagos

Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya a.k.a MC Olu Omo
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146 passengers on ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train still missing

Mr. Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director of the NRC

Opeyemi Adesogbon

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said that  146 of the 362 passengers on the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train have been unreachable since last week Tuesday.Mr. Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director of the NRC revealed this Sunday while confirming contact with 14 more passengers.

The confirmed safe passengers have risen to 186.

Only 22 persons have been reported missing by their relatives and eight persons confirmed dead.According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a large number of passengers that are unreachable has given rise to fears that they may have been abducted by the terrorists.

“51 phone numbers on the manifest are either switched off or have not been reachable since Tuesday morning and 35 phone numbers on the manifest are ringing, but no response from the other end”, Okhiria said.

He said 60 phone numbers on the manifest when called, responded non-existent.

”The statement is aimed at updating Nigerians on the ongoing development regarding the clearing of the incident site (recovery of the rolling stock, repairs of the track) and status of Passengers that were on board the AK9 train of Monday, March 28.

”Of the 362 validated passengers on board the attacked AK9 train service on March 28, 186 persons on the manifest are confirmed to be safe and at their various homes (additional 14 persons confirmed safe today),” Okhiria said.

Two coaches (SP 00016 and SP 00017) earlier re-railed have safely been moved to Rigasa Station.

”This brings the total number of recovered Coaches and safely moved to NRC Stations to be seven.

“Intensive work continues on track repairs. More concrete Sleepers were moved to the site while some section of twisted tracks has been straightened.

”We remain grateful to the security agencies for all the support. We are very appreciative of Squadron Commander MOPOL 1 Kaduna’s visit to the accident site today.

”NRC will continue to update the general public of developments to prevent misleading information and falsehood,” he added.

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 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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