Monday, October 27, 2014

FG To Facilitate Trade In Nigerian Ports

The federal government has reiterated its preparedness to facilitate trade in the country, especially in the nation’s seaports, airports and international borders.

To this end, it said it would institute policies that would facilitate trade in the nation’s maritime industry. The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello dropped the hint in a meeting with some stakeholders in Lagos.

Bello said the purpose of the meeting was to prepare the ports for more trade in Nigeria. He added that operators also discussed modalities on how to reduce the cost of doing business in Nigerian ports.

According to him, Nigerian ports are competing with other ports in the sub-region and operators have to streamline their clearance procedures to attract cargo to Nigerian ports.

The NSC helmsman said the move followed a consensus reached after a meeting with maritime operators on how to reduce human contact in cargo clearing at the ports.

“The NSC will direct some of the resolutions to the government because we need the government to take action on some certain issues that have been discussed. We will convince the government to implement the issues. They are many but we may not discuss them now for strategic reasons but they are on trade facilitation. This is our third meeting and at each meeting we reached some achievements. It is going to continue until we ensure that Nigerian terminals are competing favourably with other terminals in the world,” he said.

According to him, the measures were in line with the customs targets because they are strategic partners of terminal operators, shipping companies and freight forwarders

Bello added that the Nigerian ports operations needed automation to meet the dynamic trends in the international maritime operations.

“We need to develop standard operating procedures. We need to check the presence of government agencies in the ports on what they are doing,” he said.

The NSC Executive Secretary enjoined Customs to improve on their work in automation, stressing that the government agency must provide leadership for the maritime industry.

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