…Says ICTN would Eradicate Physical Inspection of Cargoes At Ports
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hon Emmanuel Jime has assured that the Implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) would ensure that imported cargoes are not being inspected physically all the time by relevant agencies at the ports, an exercise which according to him is killing port business.
Speaking at the Maritime and Offshore Awards; The OMIS in Lagos last weekend, Jime who was represented by a Director at the Council, Mr Rotimi Anifowoshe said that the ICTN in a security platform meant to provide advance information on every cargo leaving port of origin for Nigeria.
While speaking on the delays being encountered in deploying the ICTN, the Shippers Council Chief Executive stated that other interest had truncated its implementation, despite the fact that the the council had gotten approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to implement it.
“Over the years, we have been on the issue of ICTN, and during the tenure of immediate past Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo, there were efforts made and we got FEC approval for implementation of ICTN with Shippers Council identified as the body that should coordinate.
“We however got into a challenge, there were other interests that came into being and the contract was not signed before the tenure of the administration ended.
“We have had presentations made to the current Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, and we have gotten assurance that every effort would be made to ensure that the ICTN is implemented soon” he said
According to him, when the ICTN is fully implemented, it would address the menace of importation of fake products, illegal firearms trafficking, Narcotics, illegal dumping and smuggling.
“For us in the council, the starting point for security on our waterways and ports is the implementation of the ICTN, because if it is implemented, we would have a structure that can be defined.
“For us, the major threats Nigeria has in maritime security; fake products, illegal firearms trafficking, Narcotics, illegal dumping and smuggling.
“If we want to really address these challenges, there is a need for us as a nation to look at the ICTN which is meant to enhance the security and safety values of the Shippers and assist the relevant government agencies on risk mitigation.
“So, it is more or less like a situation that you would be able to know what is being imported from the port of origin, and every who has access to this cargo would be able to track it. If this is done, we would have confidence in our maritime sector. Other sub-region countries are operating ICTN, so why is Nigeria not operating it?
“Using 100percent examination of cargoes is affecting the turnaround time of cargoes and ease of doing business. How can you be a maritime hub when the time of doing business in your country is very slow?
With ICTN, what we have to do is minimal checks on cargoes at the port.
“When you have the ICTN in place, you are going to have openess in terms of the manifest, everything on the Vessel is already captured and known. What ICTN would do is to enhance the functionality and effectiveness of ASYCUDA.
“By the time we have the ICTN, the challenges we have with our data capture in Nigeria would be taken care of.
For ASYCUDA to be very effective, it needs to be complemented with the ICTN” Jime stated