Hassan Bello,Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC)
There are indications that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s efforts at ensuring the commencement of the Single Window Project and the deployment of scanners at the nation’s seaports are yielding fruits.
This is sequel to the positive comment, to that effect , of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, at an investigative hearing on ‘the incessant influx of fake, substandard and counterfeit products into the country’, organized by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Commerce; Industry; Information; National Orientation; Ethics and Values in Abuja, on Monday.
A Statement issued by the Head, Public Relations Unit of the Shippers’ Council, Rakiya Zubairu , stated that the Minister disclosed that, there is an implementation committee at work, to ensure that the single window and scanners are deployed appropriately. According to him, “this will significantly improve cargo turnaround time at our ports, promote efficiency and transparency.
He had also said that the development will remove the corruption opportunities that fuel the entry of substandard goods into the country thereby enhancing Nigerian ports’ competitiveness in the West African region.
Earlier in his remarks, at the opening of the hearing,according to the Council’s Statement , the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by the Minority Leader , Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, commended the efforts of the Joint Committee ,and expressed hope that the hearing will be a step towards putting an end to the influx of fake counterfeited products into Nigeria.
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 the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority and Nigerian Police Force will be at Nigerian 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 the operations of the agencies at the ports was first implemented by the previous administration in 2011, and again reinforced in 2018.
She said streamlining agencies’ operations at the port, is at the core of Nigeria’s ease of doing business reforms ,and in line with global best practices aimed at removing bureaucratic constraints and reducing costs of doing business at the ports.