MAN kicks against NSC’s re-introduction of CTN
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has kicked against the proposed re-introduction of the Cargo Tracking Note at the seaports by Nigerian Shippers’ Council over unresolved reservations concerning the system.
Indeed, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) had unveiled plans to soon deploy advanced cargo information system, otherwise known as Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) at the nation’s ports to stem the tide of trade malpractices.
With advanced information of the cargoes prior to their arrival, the NSC noted that cargo clearance will become faster since all the service providers would have prepared in advance for the reception and processes of delivery, unlike the current situation where everyone has to wait for the manifest.
According to MAN, the stance against the re-introduction of the system was as a result of observed limitations, negative trickle-down effect on businesses, cost driven implications on cargo clearance and other yet to be addressed observed lapses that motivated the call for its cancellation few years ago.
In a statement made available to The Guardian and signed by its Director-General, Remi Ogunmefun, MAN noted that the association had at a special meeting with the management and Governing Board of NSC held on August 11, 2015 and a follow-up technical review session of August 20, 2015 had expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed re-introduction of the CTN.
“The rationale for dissatisfaction was expressed at the afore-mentioned meetings and formally communicated in writing to the Executive secretary of the Nigerian shippers council on September 15, 2015
ln addition, we recommended that NSC should convene a broader stakeholder’s forum that will afford all operators on the maritime value chain, especially those that would carry the cost burden of CTN to technically x-ray its proposal to re-introduce CTN and agree on a mutually beneficial implementation guideline.
The NSC is yet to address the concerns of manufacturers or those raised by other stakeholders, amend observed lapses, provide alternative remedies or convene a maritime stakeholder’s forum but has resorted to the pages of the newspaper expressing the plans to go ahead with the re-introduction. ln consideration of all of above, necessity is laid on MAN as the voice of manufacturers in Nigeria to publicly express our dissatisfaction and objection to the re-introduction of CTN in any form as well as place balanced information in the public domain in the interest of the real sector and the Nigerian economy”, the statement read.
Restating the position of MAN National Council, the association noted that the Advanced Cargo Tracking Note (ACTN) is a re-introduction of the Cargo Tracking Note discarded by the Federal Government on the request of the operators within the Nigerian manufacturing sector in 2013, adding that the limitations and technical lapses that rendered the CTN unacceptable to maritime stakeholders and real sector operators that led to its previous rejection are very much present in the ACTN.
MAN added that the information required and data that the proposed ACTN intend to collate, as the basis for its re-introduction, are currently available within the domain of Government, specifically Nigeria Customs Service single window platform, Standards Organization of Nigeria, Nigeria Port Authority, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Nigeria Maritime Management and Safety Agency.
The ACTN implementation comes with associated cost that will further increase burden of exorbitant cost of doing business for manufacturers who rely on imports for raw materials and machines. This will automatically add to the already suffocating cost structure and renders locally made goods uncompetitive”, he said.
Those technical questions, commercial consequences, cost implication, delivery mechanism and other lapses of the CTN observed by other stakeholders on the maritime value chain should be addressed by NSC with immediate effect in the spirit of change and transparency. In the interest of the manufacturing sector and the Nigerian economy, the Nigeria Shippers Council and by extension the Federal Government should jettison the re-introduction of the CTN as currently crafted until the issue of where the cost burden of its implementation will rest”, MAN added.