- ICTN to end oil theft, arms smuggling, undervalued declaration
Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has assured that the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) platform will not become an additional fiscal burden on Nigerian shippers.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Hon. Emmanuel Jime gave this assurance in Lagos today while engaging executives of Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) at the NSC headquarters.
Jime’s words: “The understanding we have at NSC is that this cost will not be borne by the Nigerian shippers. The cost implication has been located in a way that doesn’t do dramatic damage to the economy. However, Manufacturers are within their rights to seek clarification and be informed on what is to be expected as far as International Cargo Tracking Notes (ICTN) is concerned.”
“The cost will be very minimal and let’s keep in mind that this cost has always been a shipping charge. It isn’t something that is really new. Nevertheless, we have to look at the real impact this will have on the Nigerian economy.”
The NSC boss, however, argued that the gains from ICTN far outweighs the fiscal burden. He stressed that ICTN will curb the proliferation of small arms in the country, especially for those conveyed via the ports.
“It makes more sense that with ICTN we can secure ourselves because no one wants to do business in an environment devoid of security. On the issue of crude theft which is a huge challenge to the nation’s resources, ICTN will also stop that. One can argue that the amount of crude that has been stolen from Nigeria is enough to establish the kind infrastructural developments we want for the nation. The problem of undervaluation of goods is something that can also be curbed by ICTN. These are some of the balancing factors that ICTN is going to bring. With these immense benefits that will come to the nation’s economy from ICTN, you will agree that there are more reasons to introduce ICTN than not to.”
Speaking earlier, a former Vice President, MAN, Lagos Zone, Chief John Aluya, expressed concerns that the introduction of ICTN will lead to a new fiscal burden on Nigerian shippers and consequently inflated prices for imported goods.
Aluya, who is also a member of the NSC Governing Board, lamented that Nigerian ports are already overtaxed as almost every regulatory issue at the nation’s ports come with additional costs.
“Manufacturers ultimate aim is to make sure that Nigeria becomes the hub of the West-African region in production; but if our port costs keep rising we will be driving away the land-locked countries from using our ports.”
“We don’t pay these additional costs directly. It is the final consumer that pays because it would would reflect on the final prices of our products,” he said.
Nevertheless, he expressed optimism that as the port economic regulator, NSC would be able to understand the fiscal implications and prioritize the interest of the nation.