By RICHARDS ADENIYI
AFTER more than six months of denials, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has finally slammed charges on the controversial cargo tracking note (CTN) it re-introduced early this year.
A letter titled: Re: Notice To All carriers, Ship-owners, Ship Chatterers, Shipping Lines, Shipping Line agencies and consignees signed by NSC’s Executive Secretary CEO, Hassan Bello states “we wish to refer to the above notice and to inform you that the administrative fees for the international cargo tracking note are charged at the following rates: Empty containers Free; Containers (20ft and 40ft) $25 per container; RoRo Vehicles – $10 per unit; Break Bulk – $10.2 per unit; Convention/Canoupage – $1 per Freight; Non-Crude oil Export Free; Crude Oil Export – $0.1 per ton.
The implication of this development is that at the current exchange rate, importers will now pay at least N6, 000 additional charges on every container coming into the country, while importers of all types of vehicles will pay additional N2, 400 per unit chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Val Usifoh said the CTN costs will be charged to importers.
Curiously, Hassan Bello had claimed at various for meetings that the CTN would not attract any charges. National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero has flayed the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for deceiving stakeholders on charges associated with the CTN.
“It is wrong because that is what I told Hassan Bello. I told him that he should not introduce the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) if it is not tied to services and if it is going to attract additional cost.
“This is why I have not made any comment for a very long time because legally speaking CTN has no law. It is not backed by any law and if there is no law, Nigerian Shippers’ Council does not have the right to midwife it and there is no need for CTN for a country that is so expensive with so many costs we have in the country.
Why are they bringing it at this time when everybody is complaining? There is no cargo, the cost is high we have multiplicity of charges in the post industry. “There are the things we are saying, CTN is not tied to services. What are the services of CTN and if CTN is not tied to security, if there are charges on CTN, then it should be rejected,” Mr. Amiwero said.
National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu recalled that NSC had earlier promised his association that CTN would not attract any charges. “Having been assured by Nigerian Shippers Council itself that it would not attract a single kobo to Nigerian Shippers and based on that condition and the fact that the contract signed by NSC and the operators has a clause saying that once additional money is added to the shippers’ freight or anywhere, this contract remains terminated.
The Manufacturers Associations of Nigeria (MAN) has also faulted the introduction of the controversial CTN by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council. MAN Director General Remi Ogunmefun, said in a statement that the CTN was bound to drive up the cost of cargo clearance at the nation’s seaports and have a negative trickle down effect on businesses.
According to him, despite weighty reservations expressed by manufacturers at different forum and at a special meeting with the management and Governing Board of NSC and a follow-up technical review session on August 11 and 20, 2015, respectively, NSC was bent on reintroducing the CTN.
“The position was reached based on observed limitation, and other yet to be addressed observed lapses that motivated the call for its cancellation few years ago. The rationale for our 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”, Ogunmefun said.