Why is it difficult for Nigeria to have a single window?

 Abayomi Mukandas (Maritime Consultant)

A single window clearance system is apt in the scheme of Nigerian cargo handling procedures. The challenges are with government ability to coordinate and ensure collaboration between different layers of agencies of government and stakeholders for 24 hour cargo clearance management. Statistics have shown that freight forwarders declaration of content and payment of correct duty is the bane of problems.

Government can use appropriate technology to screen content and derive information on duty payment. This will enhance speedy clearance and ports decongestion including an effective call up system by shipping companies to haulage operators. 

Dr. Nicodemus Odollo (Trustee, Shippers Association Lagos State)

It is not that it is difficult for Nigeria to achieve a single window in our maritime cargo clearance system, but because of corruption, it has now become difficult. Secondly, the government seems to have licensed corruption by making its agencies involved in cargo clearance to be financially autonomous. 

Aare Sanni Shittu (Board Member, CRFFN)

It is all about inconsistency in policy formulation and its poor attendant execution. What is single window in cargo clearance? It is about all government agencies being part of a process that facilitates clearance of cargo timely, it applies to those that are authorized to be part of the clearance process, but, what do we have on ground here? those that are supposed to be part of cargo examination to be jointly done, you will not find them on ground during examination, what follows then are frivolous stoppages of process via, questionable and funny queries, with resultant effect of delays that constitute multiple payments of demurrage which innocent Nigerians bear at the end of the day in form of high cost of goods and services. This is as a result of poor implementation of policies and their monitoring. 

Olumide Fakanlu (Former Chairman, ANLCA Apapa Chapter)

It is difficult for us to have a single window platform because the idea has never been sincere; it has always been about personal and selfish interests of the relevant people in the system, which is related closely with corruption. Of all the regulatory agencies in the maritime sector who are gunning to operate the single window platform, personally, I would suggest Nigeria Shippers’ Council should be given the responsibility. 

 Mr. Raph Agbogu (NCMDLCA)

The problem is ignorance, lack of knowledge and corruption, otherwise the government should consider cargo dwell time, if it stays there for a longer time, what policies do you put on ground? There must be a legislative framework to make these things happen. When the ninth assembly comes, we will approach them. 

Mr. Frank Aliakor (ANLCA)

There is nothing hindering the process, the only thing is that the way they do it by having all the agencies of the government go through the same platform and they find it very difficult because you cannot bring the whole agencies of the government together at the ports at the same time. So, what they do is that all of them work through their offices, and if there is any reaction on any cargo and they want to see it, they will just put an alert on it. And as it is things are going well.

Mr. Stanley Ezenga (NAGAFF)

I think it has to do with government bureaucracy because the NPA at one time claimed that the single window should be domiciled by them saying that they have already produced a template for the single window. And we know that in terms of revenue generation, it is customs that receives the revenue that accrued through import duty and they are also claiming that the single window should be domiciled with them. I see it as that of ego, but in my opinion I think it should be domiciled with the Customs.