The Federal Executive Council yesterday approved the Electronic Cargo Tracking System for use in all Nigerian commercial ports as a device to monitor vessel movements and curtail oil theft.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting this week presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa.
He said that 26 African countries, including Ghana, Senegal, Benin Republic and Togo, were already implementing the scheme, which aids clearer declaration of quantities at ports and transparent cargo invoicing.
In his words, “The deployment of the state-of-the-art ECT will ensure the elimination of loopholes in border operations and boost government revenue in form of duties, port charges and levies.”
The cargo tracking note system will be run by public-private partnership between the federal government and the investing private sector companies in 60:40 profit-sharing ratio, according to the minister.
Highlighting the advantages, Sambo said the scheme would eliminate loopholes in border operations and boost revenues of government agencies from “about $90 million per annum to a peak of about $235 million per annum.”
It will be recalled that the problem of oil theft cost the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited humongous sums of money, up to $10 billion daily, according to some estimates, with all stakeholders decrying the daily haemorrhage of around half-a-million barrels of crude oil per day last year.
The extent cargo tracking note would help to solve this problem in the Nigerian theatre of operation will soon be revealed.