After years of physical examination in Nigeria Seaports by officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over the faulty status of scanners across the seaports, the Presidential Enabling Committee on Ease of Doing business (PEBEC) said the Federal Government will provide scanners across the country by fourth quarter.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Jumoke Oduwole also assured that a national single window will also come on stream.
Oduwole who acknowledged that absence of scanners had slowed down activities at the port said both government is ready to build a national Import, Export single window.
She said, “We have a single window but not a national all encompassing import, Export single documents though work is ongoing and its quite advancing that it will be a PPP national single window project.
“The committee is chair by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) and the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms Hadiza Bala Usman.
“Also, we will be providing scanners across the country and we see that we have scanners that are not working and are slowing down things at the port and those two things I can tell you are ongoing we have sub-committee and they will report back to the committee and they have time line for this work. We should have single windows and scanners at all seaports across the county by Q4,” she assured.
The PEBEC is supported by a small-scale task force responsible for driving the reform agenda and ensuring implementation across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“Nigeria ranked 169 out of 190 on Doing Business Ranking of the World Bank. In trading across borders, is a worse indicator as Nigeria ranks 182 out of 190.
“This administration has taken it upon itself to work with government agencies to introduce palletised containers of imports,’’ Oduwole said.
She said that the whole idea is to make business more convenient for processing of both exports and imports.
Meanwhile, Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Tariffs and Trade, said the forum was meant to improve Customs mandate on trade facilitation.
Alu said that the idea of the reform was to engage stakeholders in the operations of “Ease of Doing Business’’.
He said that the reform was a holistic approach which needed everyone’s participation for government to achieve its mandate of reducing the time of doing business at the ports.
Also speaking, the Customs Area Comptroller, Tin-Can Island Customs Command, Comptroller Umar Bashar, urged both Customs officers and stakeholders to continue to display transparency in cargo clearance processes.
Bashar said that before now, cargo were palletised but now nobody cares about how the cargo would be processed until the consignments were damaged before getting to the ports of destination.