By Kenneth Jukpor
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has expressed commitment to work with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) as the Federal Government revives plans to implement the International Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) regime.
Both institutions reached this agreement when Shippers’ Council paid a courtesy visit to MAN headquarters in Lagos yesterday.
Recall that MAN kicked against the policy vehemently in the past, envisaging that the policy would add to the cost of shipping raw materials and other services required for their production.
As part of efforts to address the concerns of MAN on this policy and examine the implementation of other trade policies in the country, the Council set up a working committee with delegates from the Manufacturers’ group.
The new committee would ensure competitiveness of cost, operations, and regulate other areas such as the Federal Government’s proposed introduction of uniform trucking charges and examine transport infrastructure bottlenecks in the country.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello also seized the opportunity to admonish MAN to invest in the development of modern transport infrastructure especially in the area of Truck Transit Parks (TTPs).
The NSC boss also revealed that the Federal Government through the Council had reduced the list of port charges from twenty-two to five, in order to make the nation’s ports more competitive.
Hassan Bello, “Our visit here today is in continuation of our consultation with stakeholders. We are here to solicit for the support of MAN to jointly agree on a framework for collaboration in addressing some of the challenges in the ports.
“We are talking about the reduction in dwell time of cargoes at Nigerian ports. We are a member of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme. Our pre-occupation has been geared towards fast-tracking the procurement of scanners at the ports and borders in order to aid quick examination of cargoes.
“The poor road infrastructure is equally being addressed, and the contract has been awarded for the rehabilitation of the Tin-Can and Mile 2, Oshodi road” he said.
He noted that some of the efforts to reduce the cost of transportation in the nation, include; review of local shipping charges and tariff nomenclature; enhancing the nation’s multimodal connectivity; automation; upgrade of transport infrastructure; and genuine fight against corruption.
“We have been engaging the shipping agents and have already agreed on a structured harmonised tariff nomenclature. The rate of charges is being reviewed and agreed, and will soon be presented to stakeholders, especially MAN for validation” he said.
In his welcome address, the MAN President, Engr. Mansur Ahmed expressed delight as NSC was the first government agency to visit MAN since he emergence as MAN President few weeks ago.
He agreed that it was high time for the Council and MAN to come together more than ever before to create a platform whereby policies are examined in order for them to have a tremendous impact on the nation’s production sector which could transform the nation’s economy.
Engr. Mansur Ahmed noted that in the last three years, the Federal Government had introduced several policies aimed at transforming the nation’s economy from a monolithic one to a more diversified and efficient economy.
“This diversification at the end of the day will open up the economy and will have tremendous benefits for we manufacturers. We, therefore, thank the NSC for initiating this interaction with MAN, and it is my hope that this will just be the beginning of a serious engagement and collaboration between both organisation”, he said.