Federal Government inaugurates committee, moves to ease export procedures
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), yesterday, inaugurated a committee to simplify national and international transactions by streamlining processes and procedures for export trade under a single window.
Specifically, the committee comprising 25 agencies of government concerned with trade, especially export, is expected to streamline processes and procedures for export trade.
The collaboration followed recent successes recorded in Nigeria’s quest to ease time spent on doing businesses, Executive Director of the NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, told journalists in Lagos.
Awolowo said this was part of the efforts by NEPC to create better enabling business environment by simplifying the national and international business transaction.
“We are more interested in exports, and we are looking at finally getting together and implementing the single window facilities,” he added.
He explained that UN/CEFACT’s mission is to improve the ability of business, trade and administrative organizations, from developed, developing and transitional economies, to exchange products and relevant services effectively.
According to him, the gains from UN/CEFACT’s role will be considerably beneficial to small businesses because the costs of compliance with various trade-related procedures and processes are high.
He said: “Establishing a single window for exporters has been an ongoing discussion in Nigeria for quite some time. In spite of its numerous benefits in addressing efficiency, the evident hope among policy makers, and the strong desire of exporters for the existence of a single window, it has remained a challenge in the trade facilitation agenda of the country.
“In line with UN/CEFACT’s drive to introduce workable e-business solutions to improve on trade facilitation, the single window for export is aimed at opening up opportunities for Nigeria by increasing benefits from international trade and contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction.
“I am confident that the inauguration of the Nigerian-UN/CEFACT Trade Facilitation Committee marks an important turning point in Nigeria’s quest to re-establish collaboration between public and private sector in addressing growing challenges of trade facilitation for exports.”
Domain Coordinator and UN/CEFACT expert, Dr Aleksei Bondarenko, said the single window is just a platform that works efficiently with the collaboration of key stakeholders in the export value-chain.
He said the single window initiative would bring about faster services at the border for both imports and exports, as well as ensure correct revenue collection.
Chairman, MAN Export Group, Ede Dafinone, said the more simplified the export process, the more export that will be achieved by operators.
He said the single window is in line with the ease of doing business objective of the Federal Government, even as he expressed optimism that collaboration among the different parties will ensure the platform achieves its objectives.