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FG Launches National Single Window Steering Committee

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said the decision of his administration to embark on a National Single Window (NSW) platform is to boost the country’s Ease of Doing Business Index as rated by the World Bank.
The NSW is an electronic portal that links all agencies and operators within the country’s supply chain to an integrated platform, which is to be domiciled at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Membership of the steering committee is drawn from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and some key private sector operators, which include importers, exporters, shipping lines, freight agents and banks.
Speaking while inaugurating the steering committee for the project at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President also said the platform is aimed at eliminating all forms of encumbrances to trade and commerce with a view to optimising revenue generation and ultimately boost the inflow of both local and foreign direct investment into the country.
The President, who decried the bottlenecks that characterise the country’s import, export and other supply chain activities, noted that the project is another milestone by his administration, saying the project would boost investment inflow by removing all forms of trade barriers in the import and export value chain.
“Nigeria’s import and export processes are bureaucratic, which lead to delays at the seaports. Such inefficiencies have adverse impacts on local businesses in the country and serve as potential impediment for foreign direct investments.
“To eliminate these challenges, today, we are launching the National Single Window project.
“The National Single Window Project is intended to enhance revenue generation through imports and exports and accelerate economic activities in the country.
“This project is a bold initiative to simplify and streamline our import and export clearance processes by eliminating bottlenecks, and harnessing best-in-class technology. This will result in reduced costs of doing business and position us to attract more foreign investment.
“The National Single Window Project will consist of four key pillars, namely: Single Window for Imports, Single Window for Exports, Port Community System and Scanning Services across our sea, air and land borders.
“The Project is not merely a technological advancement, but a strategic initiative to increase revenue generation by consolidating import and export related procedures into a unified electronic platform.
“The platform will serve as a single portal for the submission and approval of all import and export related documents, as well as a centralised payment system. It will be integrated with the various systems in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) involved in the import and export processes.
“The National Single Window project is a top priority for this Administration. As a result, I am directing all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies working on similar systems or information technology implementation projects to stop doing so in silos but align and consolidate such projects under the National Single Window Project’s scope.
“Today, I am also inaugurating the National Single Window project steering committee. The primary objectives of the Steering Committee are to provide support, oversight, strategic direction, and guidance to ensure the effective implementation of the project.
“You are entrusted with the responsibility of aligning this project with this government’s revenue enhancement objectives, setting the stage for a more efficient and responsive economy.
“I expect nothing short of excellence from this committee. You are the driving force behind the success of this crucial project, and your commitment and dedication will determine its outcome.
“Our collective effort will shape this project and play a key role in shaping the future of trade and commerce in Nigeria. I urge you to approach this task with a sense of purpose, unity, and a shared commitment for the betterment of our nation”, the President said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of FIRS, Zacch Adedeji, who also spoke at the event, thanked President Tinubu for the project and approving FIRS and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as the project’s implementing agencies and financial managers.
Adedeji said the project aligns with the President’s commitment to stimulating Nigeria’s economy through enhanced trade facilitation and a bold step towards realising the country’s immense economic potential.
“As we strive towards achieving sustainable economic growth, we must embrace high-impact projects such as the National Single Window. By simplifying the government trade compliance process through a cutting-edge digital platform, we will unlock a myriad of economic benefits.
“This initiative will serve as a catalyst for achieving an average Gross Domestic Project (GDP) growth rate of seven per cent annually, propelling Nigeria to new heights of prosperity. The National Single Window is not just a technological advancement; it is the gateway to a more connected, efficient, and transparent system.
“By integrating our seaports, government agencies, and key stakeholders, we will create a seamless ecosystem that facilitates trade, saves time for businesses, and opens up a world of opportunities.
“From providing access to education and healthcare to enabling small businesses to reach global markets, digital connectivity is the key to unlocking Nigeria’s true potential.
“The heavy costs, delays, and inefficiencies at our ports has been a constant burden. It is estimated that a staggering $4 billion annually is lost due to these inefficiencies.
“By addressing revenue leakage prevention and facilitating effective trade, we will reclaim these lost resources and channel them towards the betterment of our society.
“Steering Committee, National Single Window 2 Paperless trade alone is projected to bring an annual economic benefit of around $2.7 billion; a testament to the transformative power of this initiative.
“The success stories of countries that have embraced Single Window systems are evident. Singapore, Korea, Kenya and Saudi Arabia have all witnessed significant improvements in trade efficiency after implementing similar initiatives. It is now Nigeria’s turn to join the ranks of these progressive nations and reap the rewards of a streamlined, digitised trade environment.
“The National Single Window is not just about facilitating trade, it is also a powerful tool for expanding our tax base and capturing the informal e-Commerce sector. By providing a unified, modern digital platform for expeditious paperless cargo clearance and logistics, we will bring more businesses into the formal economy, ensuring that everyone contributes their fair share to our nation’s development.
“Moreover, by linking the Nigerian National Single Window with other African nations, we will expedite cargo movement and optimise intra-Africa trade.
“This will position Nigeria as a leader in regional trade facilitation, fostering stronger economic ties with our neighbors and creating new opportunities for growth and collaboration.
“The current international trade environment is complex, involving disparate systems and requiring an average of 40 documents per transaction. Nigeria’s lack of a comprehensive trade facilitation system has led to bottlenecks, corruption, port delays, decreased revenue, and a negative business environment. The National Single Window is a decisive response to these challenges.

“By improving trade facilitation, revenue generation, economic growth, transparency, security, and streamlined processes, we will transform Nigeria into a global trade powerhouse”, the FIRS boss explained.

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Trade Modernisation: Customs’ CG Tours Huawei, Port In China

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The Comptroller-General  of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, recently led his team to the Headquarters of Huawei, a famous information and communications technology company in Shenzhen, China, where he discussed opportunities embedded in Nigeria Customs Service Trade Modernisation Project.
This was disclosed in a press release made available to our correspondent in Lagos by the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, CSC Maidawa yesterday.
According to the release, the CGC’s visit to Huawei Headquarters was part of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China for the 6th Global AEO Conference that took place in the city of Shenzhen between Wednesday, 8th May, Friday, 10 May, 2024.
Stating the purpose of his visit to the company’s office on behalf of his team, CGC Adeniyi said, “We are also delighted to associate with the Global Leader Technology Services through the Team of Trade Modernisation.”
It would be recalled that the Service had, during the Huawei Connect 2023 held in Shanghai in October, 2023, expressed readiness to deploy some of the company’s latest products for use in its trade modernisation project.
The CGC, who urged Huawei’s company leadership to sustain their digitalisation services to NCS, also sought their support to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to maintain their transformative journey with the company.
On his part, Xujing Xu, the Huawei Company’s Vice President of Smart Transportation, welcomed the delegation of the NCS led by Adeniyi and the Management Team of the Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.
He expressed confidence that their collaboration will benefit all parties involved, noting that “the foundational work for this transformation is already underway”.
The TMP Chairman, Saleh Ahmadu, during his address, said Huawei is living up to expectations to deliver its mandate under the auspices of Trade Modernisation Project Limited.
He appreciated the support accorded to him by the CGC and his management team towards the success of the NCS Trade Modernisation Project.
In his bid to upscale the level of NCS modernisation, the Comptroller-General of Customs, alongside members of the Trade Modernisation Project led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu, visited Lantan Port to witness the level of automation and technological solutions provided by Huawei and other tech partners.

In a related development, a training programme on Trends and Digital Solutions for Customs officials and the TMP team was organised by Huawei the same day, which focused on equipping officials with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape of modern trade.

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Salefu Recommits To Stop Smuggling

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The Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone D, Bauchi, Comptroller Salefu O, has reiterated his commitment to stop the nefarious activities of smugglers within his jurisdiction.
Speaking with our correspondent in a telephone chat, Salefu said the negative impact of smuggling on Nigeria’s economy cannot be allowed to continue, if genuine businessmen and women are to reap from their investment and efforts.
“With the selfless leadership shown by the Comptroller General, Wale Adeniyi, we at FOU, Zone D, have decided to re-dedicate ourselves to duty and complement the efforts of the CGC. We are telling smugglers to stop smuggling, because we shall not stop until they (smugglers) stop.
On how he has been able to achieve so much with his short arrival at Zone D, he said, “we are following the examples of our leader, the Comptroller General.
“We have learned how to manage the resources at our disposal, motivate officers and men of the Service and they in appreciation have no option but to deliver.
“Customs has changed. The Customs of today is energized, highly motivated, trained, focused and inspired to deliver. No officer has any excuse not to do what is expected”, he said.
The battle against smugglers, Salefu stated, is not a personal battle, but a national service aimed at ensuring safety of lives of Nigerians.
“If smuggling is not checked, the economy would suffer, lives could be lost to fake drugs and sub-standard goods that smugglers try to bring into the country”, he said.
On how he copes with the challenges and pressures that come with the job, the FOU Zone D boss id, “every profession has its hazard. As a journalist, you have challenges.  “Sometimes you are caught between making choices and taking decisions. So far, at FOU Zone D, the Comptroller General has given us clear guidelines and we know what to do under any situation.
“Some decisions are hard and very difficult to make, but if you know you are acting within stipulated rules of Customs, you have nothing to worry about. No matter what you do, some will love you and praise you while others will hate you and call you names.
“But we stand by whatever we do because we are just doing our job. In doing our job, we are guided by government policies, customs, and regulations”, Salefu stated.

By: Stories by Nkpemenyie McDominic, Lagos

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PTML Donates $2m CSR Projects To Schools 

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Ports and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) has donated a block of classrooms and other Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to the tune of $2 million at Amuwo-Odofin Junior High School, Mile 2, Lagos State.
The projects executed by the firm and inaugurated in Lagos include an access road with a drainage system; a borehole and a water treatment plant; and a furnished gatehouse at the Mile 2 School Complex.
Others are 1,000 dual desks and chairs, as well as chairs and desks for teachers in the six schools within the school complex; palliative roof repair of Amuwo-Odofin Junior and Senior High School and Imoye High School.
PTML, whose parent company, Grimaldi Group, was founded in 1947 and specialised in the maritime transport of cars, rolling stock, containers and passengers, also donated a 50 KVA transformer.
The Managing Director of the PTML, Ascanio Rosso, noted that the firm would continue to engage in CSR that would be impactful to its immediate environment.
He added that the company was conscious of the security of the children, a reason for which it also built two well-equipped security gatehouses.
He said, “It is with great pride and a profound sense of responsibility that I stand before you today as we mark the culmination of several impactful projects undertaken by PTML at the Mile 2 School Complex, located just adjacent to our terminal.
This proximity has not only reinforced our commitment, but also our capability to contribute significantly and sustainably to our neighbourhood.
As an integral part of the esteemed Grimaldi Group, PTML is deeply committed to social responsibility, with a particular focus on education and environmental stewardship.
These commitments are pivotal to our corporate ethos and are evident in the extensive investments we have made here at Mile 2.
equipped security gatehouses, ensuring a safe educational setting. Beyond infrastructure,

“PTML has been a fervent supporter of cultural and educational activities. For over five years, we have sponsored inter-house sports activities, and for the last two years we have celebrated the dedication of our teachers during the World Teachers/Award Day”, Rosso said.

Responding, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, who appreciated the donating company for their gesture, noted that collaborations like this could move the country forward faster.

The commissioner further said the donation had changed the face of the Mile 2 community and added immeasurable value to education in the state.

He further stated that the state would not only take ownership, but would maintain the facilities, to ensure that they serve the purpose of learning and add value to the community and the state.

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