The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, has expressed optimism that the adoption of Single Window (SW) Trade platform would make Nigeria’s ports competitive in the international trade network and boost the trade facilitation programme of the government.

This is even as 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.

The two agencies, Usman said, have embarked on the establishment of SW through an intense automation and introduction of Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) at the ports.

Ms 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.

Speaking during her courtesy visit to the  Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col Hameed Ali  (Rtd) in Abuja recently, Ms Usman said the synergy on SW would boost government revenue and promote Public Private Participation through the attraction of local and Foreign Direct Investment.

The government, she also said, was aware of its responsibilities to create the enabling business environment to realize the objective.

The Federal Government, Ms Usman said, was determined to make the ports efficient, safe, secure, productive and eco-friendly in its operations.

NPA and Customs, she said, were the two arrowhead agencies driving the logistic and financial portals on behalf of the government and that the duo has the responsibility to synergise and build up a common industry culture around the ports to achieving the right level in trade facilitation.

“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, harmonization and standardisation of port operations, she added, could only be achieved by embarking on the establishment of a well articulated single window system.

“I would, therefore, urge us not to lose track and be relentlessly commitment to meet the target of Nigeria joining 20 other countries in the forefront of implementing an efficient, effective and sustainable single window in 2020, ” she said.

In his response, the CGC said that her visit would lead to regular meetings and constant consultation between the two agencies.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Ali said, 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 the ports.

 

He 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.

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