Even though President Muhammadu Buhari’s previous administration had approved the International Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), it is yet to be put into practice.
The implementation of the contentious CTN for all ports nationwide was approved by the Federal Executive Council in February 2023. Through its operations, the CTN is expected to plug revenue leaks and produce between $90 million and $235 million in revenue annually for the government.
The CTN, which was created to increase cargo security and transparency, is a crucial document in international shipping and trade.
Additionally, it mandates that prior to shipment, authorities be informed in detail about cargo shipments, including their origin, destination, contents, and other pertinent information. This is necessary for tracking and monitoring in order to stop smuggling, fraud, and other illegal acts.
The Nigeria Shippers Council’s Director of Consumer Affairs, Cajetan Agu, gave the change in government as the explanation for the delay and added that the council is waiting for the chance to brief the new minister on the issue before moving forward with the implementation.
Participants have questioned whether the delay can be fully blamed on the change in government.
Dr. Eugene Nweke, Secretary of the Customs Consultative Committee (CCC), emphasized the importance of having a thorough conversation about CTN implementation.
The CCC wants to ask for a thorough and constructive engagement with the Nigerian Customs Service, according to Nweke, a former president of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), to ensure that the CTN becomes a useful component of the port value chain.
According to him, the CTN shouldn’t be seen as a simple trade document device used only to generate income.
Nweke stated that, taking into account the interests of the trading public, the objective should be to make CTN implementation an inclusive and sustainable practice.
Festus Ukwu, National Secretary of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), emphasized that the CTN’s implementation might make it more expensive to conduct business in Nigerian ports, which could raise the price of goods and services and fuel inflation.
“The CTN is being resisted by major stakeholders in the maritime industry mainly for the fact that it will increase the cost of doing business in our ports corridor, thereby affecting the cost of goods and services and ultimately aggravating inflation,” he stated.