By Godfrey Bivbere
A group under the aegis of Central Working Committee of Freight forwarders of Nigeria (CWCFFN) has faulted the Organised Private Sector (OPS) opposition to the recently introduced Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) introduced by the federal government.
The CWCFFN in a letter to the Acting President signed by representatives of the various associations noted that illegal businesses occasioned by concealment, false declaration and wrong description of cargo are being masterminded by shippers.
According to the group, â€œWe are not prepared to be used by any body to cheat the government and the people of Nigeria any more. All shippersâ€™ either as organised or unorganised must be prepared to pay correct import duty by making genuine declarations.â€
They pointed out that insincerity on the part of the formal sector has in the past misled government to take decisions which were later reversed when it was discovered to be wrong line of action.
â€œIt is also on record that in the past, the federal government may have been misled by this same group through the alleged falsification of trade data and statistics that led to the banning of certain trade goods like vegetable oil, jean trousers and brief cases for instance, giving the government the assurance that they could produce enough for the country.
At the end of the day they embarrassed the government to make policy reversals on some of these banned goods.â€
The group also recalled the incentive to Manufacturers in Bond Scheme and waivers granted to bonafide manufacturers and the â€œunprecedentedâ€ abuse that it was subjected to, records are still available with the Customs authorities.
They also quoted the National Vice President of NACCIMA, Alhaji Sulaiman Hammed as having said that â€œA lot of people will go abroad , they will shop for raw materials or spare parts and they will collude with their suppliers to put other things in the container; things that are not declared, things that are even more expensive than the declared cargo in the container.
This is common with the so-called manufacturers. When cargo arrives Nigeria, they will use what we call fast track system to fast track the cargo into their warehouses in their factories… without paying duty to government on the extra in the container. With the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), that will be virtually removed.â€
They government to disregard whatever position that the OPS has put forward because they (OPS) do not have the capacity to disrupt activities in the port where other associations like CRFFN, NAGAFF, ANLCA, NAMDLCA and IMAN.
The group observed that â€œthere is now a divide between the informal sector group and the formal sector group.