Â By Godfrey Bivbere
At a time whenÂ Â Â Â stakeholders in theÂ Â Â Â maritime industryÂ kick against introduction of the controversial Container Tracking Note (CTN), three government agencies in the sector, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigeria Shippersâ€™ Council (NSC) are presently at war over whose duty it is to collect the fee on behalf of government.
Vanguard investigation revealed that the collection of the CTN presently handled by the NPA was introduced by the International Maritime Community after the 9/11 attack on the world Trade Organisation house.
While NSC wants to take up the function because the cargoes belong to Shippers whose interest it is protecting, NIMASA on the other hand wants to collect the CTN because the vesselÂ brings the cargo through the nationâ€™s waterways to the port.Both positions were made known at the recent public hearing on the CTN by the Senate Committee on Marine Transport by their helmsmen, Captain Ibrahim Biu of NSC and Mr. Temisan Omatseye of NIMASA.
Meanwhile the Shippersâ€™ Council in a bid to justify the transfer of the function to it, recently brought into the country the Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippersâ€™ Authority (GSA), Mr. Kofi Mbiah and the Ghanaian Shippersâ€™ boss said that â€œthe CTN is going to be handled by the Ghana Shippersâ€™ Authority. â€œ
He however stressed that in many African Countries within the West and Central Africa, it is the shippersâ€™ organization that is responsible for the cargo track note.â€
On the other hand, the management of NPA which currently collects the fee for government has based its involvement on ministerial directive.
This position was collaborated by the President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero who said that the NPA law empowers the Authority to carry out any duty assigned to it by the minister.
However, National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayewola Shittu disclosed that theÂ â€œCTN is a scamâ€ which is being used to milk Nigerian importers and that the CTN scheme should be reexamined.