Cargo Tracking Note will check fraudulent practices at ports, Shippers’ Council tells Customs

Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers' Council

The tradition of trade malpractices in Nigerian ports through which the government loses so much revenue would soon be over with the planned introduction of advanced cargo information system, otherwise known as Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, has said.
Bello who played host to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ali (rtd) who visited the Council, said he was optimistic that all fraudulent practices, such as cases of under-declaration of goods and concealment would be checked once CTN is introduced.

Describing the conduct of shippers involved in under-declaration and concealment, as an act of tax evasion, the Shippers Council boss said the advanced cargo information system will check this trend and in turn increase revenue generation from the ports .

Bello also said CTN will provide a credible data and has the benefits of security of cargoes being imported into the country.

With advanced information of the cargoes before they arrive the country unlike the current situation where everyone has to wait for the manifest, he said cargo clearance would be faster since all the service providers would have prepared in advance for the reception and processes of delivery.

He also pointed out that CTN will equally check under-declaration of gross registered tonnage (grt) of the vessels bringing goods into the country, adding that this will help increase revenue from the ports sector.

He also revealed that the CTN  would have ended the controversy  that trailed the oil subsidy issue with the petroleum marketers if it had been introduced during that time.

Ali had sought the cooperation of the Council as the Ports Economic Regulator to end all the cases of falsification by shippers observed during examination of cargoes at the ports.

For instance, Ali said that it has been observed that in most cases, what is claimed in the documentation is usually a different thing during physical examination of the goods in the ports, a development he said was worrisome to the Service.

He also added that the importers were in the habit of generalization of cargo instead of clear description of the cargoes they are bringing into the country.

He said the purpose of his visit was to seek the collaboration of the Regulator so that any issue can always be resolved amicably.

Bello who said he was excited about the visit described it as a clear demonstration of the new CG’s readiness and seriousness to work.

Describing the ports as operating a community system, Bello said collaboration between the government agencies in the ports was important for the industry to move forward.

Bello who pointed out that sometimes there could be conflict, said this can only be resolved through collaboration.