Mallam Hassan Bello, ES, NSC

When the cargo tracking note (CTN) is re-introduced in Nigerian ports, rampant cases of sharp practices prevalent in the seaports will give way. Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Mallam Hassan Bello stated this recently when he received the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col hammed Ali (Rtd) in Lagos.

Bello emphasized that once the advanced cargo information system is in place, cases of under-declaration, concealment and other anti-trade practices would be a thing of the past. He said this in reaction to a request by the Customs helmsman that in her capacity as the economic regulator in the ports, the Council should end all cases of sharp practices now rampant in the process of cargo clearance. Ali had faulted operations of multinational shipping companies in Nigeria, saying that most of the shipping manifests of consignments they carry are steeped in irregularities.

Calling for synergy among maritime agencies to ensure that importation and exportation of goods are properly documented, the customs boss noted that since the Shippers’ Council is the ports commercial regulator, there is need for her to collaborate with the customs to achieve a common goal. Customs, he explained, has put on ground mechanisms to address the irregularities surrounding shipping manifests.

Bello told Ali that shippers who conceal and under-declare are perpetrating tax evasion. As the CTN is coming in place, he assured, this trend will be checked and when this act is nipped in the bud, revenue generation from the ports will increase.

He said the cargo information system has the capacity to generate credible data. It will also ensure that cargos being imported into the country are safe and secure.