The Director of Research and Advocacy of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), Dr. Vincent Nwani, has revealed that 33 signatures are currently needed for export procedures at the nation’s seaports.
This is even as the port analyst explained that a port user will need to pass through 28 government agencies either for export or import procedure, thereby making a mockery of the recently issued Executive Order of the Federal Government of Nigeria
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune exclusively in Lagos, Dr Nwani, explained that lack of Single Window platforms at the ports have negated expected progress at Nigeria’s maritime domain. According to Dr. Nwani, “Nigeria’s ports system is at number 183 out of 185 countries, according to global port efficiency ranking.
“And why Nigeria’s ports is third worst globally is not because the palletisation policy is not working. The first ten countries in global port efficiency did not adopt palletisation as a policy. The Singapore ports of this world, the Dubai ports of this world, the Tokyo ports of this world did not adopt palletisation as a policy. Rather, they focused on Single Window platforms. Yet, these ports occupy number one to ten in the global ports efficiency ranking.
“We are talking of Single Window platforms, where goods are cleared while ships are still on the high sea. That is what these countries adopted. The palletisation policy will end up increasing the cost of doing business at the ports. The policy will also end up creating businesses and employment for other countries because we don’t manufacture pallets here in Nigeria.”
On the Executive Order recently handed out by the Presidency, Dr. Nwani, explained that the activities of some government agencies are frustrating the Presidential directive. In his words, “Some agencies of the Federal Government have kept on frustrating the reforms, including the Executive Order of the Presidency.
“The Executive Order says if an importer manages to clear his consignment and brings it out of the port, into the roads leading to the final destination of the consignment, no Customs should hold such goods, but they (Customs) still stop and impound consignments that have duly passed through security and Customs examination at the ports.
“Who are we really serving, when government agencies flout Presidential directives? That is the situation we have in our hands. A situation where you need 33 signatures to export your goods and 20 signatures for import processes.
“As I speak to you, you need to pass through 28 agencies of government to either import or export consignments out or into this country. We have 14 agencies stationed at the ports, but when you unbundle them, they become 28.”
“For example, the Nigerian Police Force alone, when unbundled, becomes four-different-agencies-in-one that a port user has to deal with. For the police, we have the Criminal section, Robbery section, Anti-Box section and the Fraud section. All this sections are all parallel institutions within one institution, and every port user has to pass through them.
“It is the same with Customs and most of these 14 agencies. They all have parallel institutions within them when unbundled. So port users have to deal with 28 agencies if they are either exporting or importing. These are the things a government needs to deal with, and not raise too much noise on palletisation policy.”
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