Nigerian Single Window To Decongest Ports

Minister of Trade and Investment; Mr Okechukwu Enelamah has assured that automation and  the ‘Single Window’ concept are  part of  ongoing projects to stop port congestion.The Minister stated this at a recent trade forum, in Abuja.The single-window project and the rebuilding of roads at certain ports is expected to eventually alleviate port congestion notably at ports in Lagos, where Apapa and Tin Can Island Port are the busiest ports.Enelamah said: “When it comes to the ports, it is an area of great interest and focus for us. There are several things we must get right.“First is the basic infrastructure of the ports. “When you get to the ports in Lagos, which are the busiest ports in the country, you will notice a lot of congestion because the ports are probably handling more cargoes than they can deal with.“There are a lot of challenges with the roads that are used to exit goods from the ports which are receiving some attention right now. “But it is coming at a considerable pain because some of the roads are being rebuilt.“There is also the idea of leveraging technology through a single window, using technology to hasten the processes”.According to him, “all the people at the ports can then be at the back-end of the electronic window and that is something that is receiving a lot of attention”.“We are not there yet, but is something between Ministries of Finance, Trade and Investment, Transport and of course Customs, NPA under the same umbrella of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council to ensure that we use the single window to decongest our ports.“In terms of the Executive orders, they try to streamline who should be in the ports and who should be out.“That work is on-going. Some of them are saying my work is very critical and they are saying until automation is there, I don’t have the tools so I can’t leave yet’’, he explained.