Says: “It must go on”
- FG to probe MAN activities on import
- Nigeria loses N672bn to Illegal Shipping Surcharges
Irked by the incessant disturbances from the anti-International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) lobbyists, President Mohammed Buhari had to recently snub Chief Ernest Shonekan, who came seeking the President’s attention to stop the implementation of the re-introduced ICTN in Nigeria, MMS Plus can reveal.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government may soon begin investigation on how many members of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) connive with the foreign shipping lines to short- change the economy through concealment and under-declaration of import into the country as findings have equally revealed that importers have lost N672, 386, 575, 759 to illegal surcharges imposed on cargoes by the shipping lines between 2013, 2014 and second quarter in 2015.
According to our source, the former head of Interim National Government (ING), who is also the chairman of APM Terminals, a subsidiary of the multinational shipping firm, Maerskline, had gone to lobby Mr. President against the implementation of ICTN in Nigeria, with the explanation that many manufactures in Nigeria had stopped producing since ICTN was re-introduced as a result of its additional cost burden on cost of production.
However, Mr. President, who felt irritated with the topic quickly retorted, “I have asked the Vice-President to ask them to begin its implementation. What are they waiting for? We need CTN to check the fraudulent import of some of the manufacturers. Please, I need result in that regard.”
Following Mr. President’s response to Shonakan, whom many industry stakeholders see as the lead lobbyist against ICTN implementation in Nigeria, the shipping lines under the aegis of Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) went into collaboration with MAN, through which they now ventilate their antagonism.
As a result of this, the Federal Government further gathered some intelligence report on how many members of MAN collude with shipping lines from port of origin to conceal and under- declare their consignments, through doctoring of manifest, a development that has been noted as one of the reasons MAN has overtly joined forces with SAN to frustrate ICTN in Nigeria.
A security source has consequently asked: “How many of these so called MAN members are actually into production in real sense? Many of them are drug peddlers and money launderers. Others are economic scavengers. They are the ones who get waivers, who bring in finished products under the guise of CKDs at zero duty or so. Let them show us what they produce and how much of it they export. We are already working on their membership and their level of culpability in this import duty conundrum.”
MMS Plus also findings reveal that the surcharges by the shipping lines on Nigerian importers, which dates back to 2010 to 2016, are: congestion surcharges, 15 euro per weight or measurement (W/M); freight tax, 3 euro; extra risk insurance, 7.50 euro; low sulphur, 2 euro; Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) and Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF) surcharges. Though justifiable, they are imposed at slightest opportunity and removed or adjusted at the discretion of the shipping lines.
CAF is added up on ocean freight by shipping lines on the basis of continuous fluctuation of exchange rate, while BAF is imposed when oil prices fluctuate globally to take care of difference in cost of freight.