…Seeks Partnership on CTN Implementation
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Rt Hon Emmanuel Jime on Thursday received the newly deployed Assistant Inspector General of Nigerian Police Force (AIG Maritime) AIG Yekini Adio Ayoku at the Council headquarters in Apapa Lagos, even as he cautioned the police against uneccessary detention of cargoes at Nigerian ports.
Jime assured the new Police boss of the unwavering support of the Council in achieving his mandate, even as he asked the Police to support the council in implementation of the recently approved Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) which is being driven by the agency.
“The challenges we have witnessed is that anytime we hold meeting with Police, there is question of excessive delays in cargo clearance, we all know that this has an impact negatively on our economy.
“The accumulation of demurrage and storage which are as a result of detention of containers, is something that the Nigerian Shippers Council see as major concern and we have put it on the front burners everytime we meet with the police.
“I am confident that with you in the saddle, we would be able to address this”
“Congestions are in the seaport due to non release of containers which ought to have been evacuated to make room for incoming cargoes, this has constituted barriers to us running our ports efficiently.
“One of the reasons for this congestion is detention of containers. In the course of intelligence gathering by the police, they are able to identify breeches, and it is their responsibility to ensure that the breeches are addressed.
“But I am also appealing to you that, we should be more creative in the manner with which we gather intelligence, so that it would help us identify areas we need quick and avoid detention of containers.
“The CTN would provide intelligence that human capacity might not be able to gather, with this,we would identify from port of origin, the total content of what is coming on a vessel in all containers, we would identify breeches before they arrive our shores.
“I believe that partnering with you would provide you evidence ahead the arrival of such vessels and give you ability to quickly nip any such infractions that would arrive our port. The proliferation of arms and ammunition would also be eliminated with the CTN” Jime assured
The Shippers Council boss said that Nigerian Ports has poor rating due to long cargo dwell time, and the inability to clear cargoes out of our port as quickly as it should be.
In order to address this anomaly, he said the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) was inaugurated by the Federal Government.
“This is an interagency platform which is being led by the Nigerian Shippers Council and the synergy with Police is very key in this regard” he said
Jime congratulated the AIG Ayoku for the new assignment and commended his wealth of knowledge about the maritime sector even before assuming office.
According to him, the Council would not be able to carryout it’s mandate as port economic regulator in an atmosphere of insecurity, and herein comes the partnership with the Police Force for safety of human Life.
He assured that the relationship with the Police would only become better than what it was before.
In terms of training and logistics, Jime said the Council has been doing this in the past and that it would do it better.
Speaking earlier, AIG Ayoku assured that the Nigerian Police would continue to support the Shippers Council and other relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector.
He however said that the police would not allow proliferation and influx of dangerous cargoes including arms and ammunition which according to him is the main driver of the insecurity being experienced across the country.
“I am not oblivious of the importance of this sector to the Nigerian economy, because apart from the oil, this sector contribute immensely to the Nigerian economy, so, all hands must be on deck to ensure that we give all the necessary support to ensure seamless operations in the sector.
“I am sure that your Council would also support us in actualizing our Constitutional mandate. We are aware of the government policies on ease of doing business and the imperatives of trade facilitation, we would always support that in implementation of our mandate.
But we also want a balancing act in that aspect too, because we don’t want what would jeopardize National Security.
“From my experience where I served as CP Kaduna State before I came here, the insecurity we have in the country today are influx of arms, ammunition, drugs among others. All these things find their way into the country through the port and land channels, so all hands must be on deck to nip these atrocities in the bud.
Without security, the much sought after economic development would continue to be a mirage” he stressed
The police boss solicited the support of the Nigerian Shippers Council in the area of training and retraining of it’s personnel to enhance their capacity, as well as interventions in logistics, especially support with operational vehicles.