The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has entered into partnership with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) as part of measures to successfully implement Cargo Tracking Note (CTN)
Under the partnership, the NSC has reassured MAN that shipping companies will bear the cost of the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) when reintroduced.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Emmanuel Jime, gave the assurance when some executive members of MAN led by Mr John Aluya, former Vice President of MAN, paid him a courtesy visit on Monday in Lagos.
Jime said that the CTN cost, which would be very minimal, had always been in shipping charges.
He noted that the CTN cost was not new and had been in existence before it was suspended in 2012 to address the bottlenecks.
“The cost will be very minimal and let’s keep in mind that this cost has always been a shipping charge. It is not something that is really new,” he said.
Jime also reassured MAN that the NSC would address the complaints and concerns raised about the reintroduction of the CTN as a major stakeholder in decision-making.
“Director, you are absolutely correct, in the past the implementation of the CTN was met with a lot of misunderstanding.
“This is because the way the policy was conceived was not the way it was implemented and so the reason to express caution in the willingness for its introduction.
“The reintroduction of the Cargo Tracking Note this time is not really fundamentally different from the previous operations of the tool.
“The cost implication has been allocated in a way that it does not have dramatic damage as far as the economy is concerned.
“MAN is very well entitled within their rights to seek clarification and to be informed as to what is actually expected in the relaunching of the note,” he said.
He said that beyond that, and most importantly, they need to look at the real impact of the note on the Nigerian economy.
“Everyone is aware that part of the challenge we had was the proliferation of small arms around the country of which some had found its way through the port.
“The reason being that we have not put in place such tool such as what we have now that will enable us to dictate on the gate-go on the arrival of such a consignment.
“If you put that side-by-side, the minimal increase its going to bring, it will make more sense that we should be able to secure ourselves and provide the secured environment that will enable businesses to perform.
“This is because no one will do business in an environment that has insecurity. This is the balance that we have to impute in this discussion,” he said.
He added that the CTN had the ability to address the issue of crude oil theft, which was a huge challenge to the country.
Jime noted that the amount of crude stolen was sufficient enough for economic growth and development.
“Bottom line, if you look at the positive impact of the re-introduction of the note, what may appear to be cost derivatives, it is better to introduce it and reap the benefits,” he said.
Earlier Aluya, intimated Jime that the manufacturer’s ultimate aim was to make sure Nigeria become the hub of West Africa sub-region, adding that if costs still grow up, Nigeria would be driving the landlocked country from using our port.
“We are here because of the re-introduction of the Cargo Tracking Note. Every issue of this nature has its own cost and we want to make sure that the port as we see that is already overtaxed, does not incur more cost.
“The executive secretary has made it easier for us that things will not happen without the manufacturers knowing and everything will be done with manufacturers’ contributions and impute, so our fears have been allayed.
“As a nation, Nigeria is supposed to be the hub of West African shippers but because of our multiplicity of charges we have become so uncompetitive.
“This has made the landlock countries to use a small country like Benin Republic to bring in their goods instead of Nigeria because of too much charges.
“We must not add to the already overburdened cost of doing business at the Nigerian ports. This will enable our ports to be attractive to sailors and shippers,” he said.
Also, Mr Ambrose Oruche, Director, Corporate Services Division, MAN, reiterated the association’s stand of not being ready to bear the burden of the cost of the CTN.
While briefing Jime of the many discussions on the CTN, Oruche pointed out that in 2012 when it was first implemented, the consultant shifted the burden on manufacturers and they raised alarm that made the Federal Government to stop the implementation.
“During our various meetings, it was agreed that the CTN is impeded in freight charges and will not be for importers and exporters and export was excluded from the CTN.
“Nigeria is overburdened with high cost of doing business at the port, we need to reduce charges so that our port will be more competitive.