Single window project : FG to deploy scanners at seaports
*Says initiative will enhance Port industry competitiveness
By Udeme Clement :
Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s call for operationalisation of National Single Window and deployment of scanners at the nation’s seaports appears to be on a fast track.
Indications that this is the case emerged when the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, spoke at an investigative hearing on incessant influx of fake, substandard and counterfeit products into the country.
The event was organised by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Commerce; Industry; Information; National Orientation; Ethics and Values.
The Minister disclosed that there is an implementation committee at work to ensure single window and scanners are deployed appropriately.
According to him, “this will significantly improve cargo turnaround time at our ports, promote efficiency and transparency, thereby removing corruption that fuels entry of substandard goods into the country, and enhance Nigerian ports’ competitiveness in the West African region.”
Earlier in his remarks, at the opening of the hearing, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by Minority Leader at the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, commended effort of the Joint Committee and expressed hope that the hearing will be a step towards putting an end to influx of fake counterfeited products into Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the House Committee on Commerce, Hon. Olufemi Fakeye stated that the hearing “will address challenges of eradicating imported counterfeit products, particularly in view of Nigeria’s commitment to African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
With the Single Window, port community portal and functional scanners at the ports, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, who was represented, said PEBEC aims to ensure that only Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority and Nigerian Police Force will be at Nigeria’s seaports as there would be no need for routine physical examination of cargo by additional agencies at the ports.
Dr. Oduwole said the decision to streamline operations of agencies at the port was first implemented by the previous administration in 2011, and again reinforced in 2018.
Dr. Oduwole said, “streamlining operations at ports is the core of Nigeria’s ease of doing business reforms. It is in line with global best practice aimed at removing bureaucratic constraints and reducing costs to doing business at ports.”