Presidency approves reintroduction of cargo tracking note to curb insecurity
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi to reintroduce Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) in order to curb the proliferation of arms and rising insecurity in the country.
As a result, Amaechi has further directed the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to introduce and administer CTN in a way that shouldn’t add to the cost of doing business at the ports, but to reduce importation of arms.
It is believed that CTN could play a crucial role in addressing the growing banditry, kidnappings and restiveness fueled by ease of access to guns and other weapons.
Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) is a system for collecting documents and processing information of shipment. It helps for controlling, supervising and managing import and export, contains details of the exporter or importer, shipment value, method and type of shipment, freight cost, and the name of the vessel.
Alban Igwe, a maritime lawyer, said CTN will improve security and safety of the supply chain by profiling cargoes being imported into the country.
Besides security, he said, CTN is also the best platform for checking revenue leakages on imports.
“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 ensure manifests are not tampered with by ships for the purpose of shortchanging government,” Igwe said.
Hassan Bello, executive secretary of NSC, describes CTN as an instrument that would help in shipping development.
“It will boost Customs revenue by reducing under-declaration and concealment of contraband. It will boost the revenue of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) by reducing alteration of manifest, and grow revenue for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) because under-declaration impacts on the weight of ships,” Bello said.
To him, CTN would not only be a source of data but would enable government agencies to know everything that is coming into the country.
BusinessDay check shows that about 24 African countries presently use CTN and they include Angola, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana and Guinea.
Others are Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Togo.