To promote trade, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) are collaborating to introduce the much-awaited Single Window (SW) platform at the ports.
Speaking during her courtesy visit to the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Col Hameed Ali (rtd.), in Abuja yesterday, the Managing Director, NPA, Ms Hadiza Balla Usman, said the two agencies have embarkd on the establishment of SW through an intense automation and introduction of Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) at ports.
Usman said the adoption of SW would make Nigeria’s ports competitive in the international trade network and boost the trade facilitation programme of the government.
She said the synergy on SW would boost government revenue and promote Public Private Participation (PPP) through the attraction of local and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Government, she also said, was aware of its responsibilities to create the enabling business environment to realise the objective.
The federal government, Usman said, was determined to make the ports efficient, safe, secure, productive and Eco-friendly practices of its operations be it logistic or financial base.
NPA and customs, she said, were the two arrow head agencies driving the logistic and financial portals on behalf of the government and that the duo have the responsibility to synergise and build up a common industry culture around the ports to achieving the right level in trade facilitation.
According to her, “The goal of trade facilitation is to help trade across borders, import and export faster, cheaper and more predictable while ensuring its safety and security.
“Trade facilitation focuses on simplifying and harmonizing formalities, procedures and the related exchange of information and documents between the various partners in a supply chain. Transparency, simplification, harmonisation and standardisation of port operations, she added, could only be achieved by embarking on the establishment of a well articulated single window system.”
She added: “I would therefore urge us not to lose track as well as relentless commitment as to meet the target of Nigeria joining 20 other countries to be in the forefront of implementing an efficient, effective and sustainable single window in 2020.” In his response, the CGC said her visit would lead to regular meetings and constant consultation between the two agencies.
The NCS, Ali added, would do everything possible in promoting the trade facilitation programme of the government through collaboration with sister agencies and robust initiatives to promote business at ports.
The Comptroller-General also promised to collaborate with the NPA to rejuvenate port operation and port security committees and ensure that the meetings are attended by senior officials of all the affected agencies and take responsibilities.