A significant opportunity exists for the Federal Government to increase its revenue generation in the Maritime industry and there are plans in the works to ensure this.
Speaking earlier today, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN expressed the optimism about the potential of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) scheme to enhance government revenue being generated at the nation’s ports. The ICTN is a web-based technological tool that monitors cargo from port of loading to destination.
Commenting on the viability and relevance of the ICTN, the Vice President said ‘’ I think that we have an opportunity to do something that will radically transform all of the things we do, especially revenues from cargoes coming into the country.’’
He made this observation today when he received in his office a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Transport led by Mr. Danjuma Dauda; the Director, Maritime Safety and Security, who represented the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
Prof. Osinbajo while appreciating the innovative idea of the ICTN, also emphasized the need to interrogate any possible weakness of the scheme.
‘’ What we should try to do is to see how to interrogate the weaknesses of this, because clearly, my experience with a lot of innovative ideas in this part of the world is that just as you are working on a new idea, there are those who are also working hard to discover ways of causing harm.’’
While responding to the presentation by the Executive Secretary of the Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, Prof. Osinbajo commended the ICTN idea and said ‘’I think this is fantastic, this is an excellent innovation,’’ promising government support.
Earlier during his presentation, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Bello told the Vice President that the International Cargo Tracking Note is primarily meant to provide accurate shipping data, monitor and verify cargo on transit from port of loading to port of destination.
Stressing the importance of the ICTN, he explained that when it becomes operational, it would lead to the reduction of cargo port transit time, reduction of fraud and maximization of government revenues, improvement of risks management and security of foreign trade transactions. He added that the maritime industry is currently generating only 10% of potential revenue and that there is a lot of room for improvement.
The International Cargo Tracking Note scheme is a West and Central African sub-regional initiative successfully nurtured and promoted by the Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC) and implemented by most member countries of the Union.