The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC); Mr Hassan Bello has revealed that the much-awaited National Single Window platform is already at the procurement stage and would come on stream soon.
Bello in a telephone chat with our correspondent revealed that a committee is already in place, comprising of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), working hard to bring the single window to life.
The single window platform is a single-entry point for data that, it also offers a single portal for trade actors, including economic operators and government authorities.
Stakeholders have at several forums lamented the absence of a single window platform for imports in Nigeria, while stating that one of the reasons it is difficult to achieve efficient and timely service delivery, which translates into huge cost of doing business, is the absence of Single Window platform.
Reports state that the absence of a National Single Window platform at Nigeria’s seaports is costing the federal government a whopping N1.08trillion in customs revenue annually
According to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the federal government, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) collections would have increased by 90 percent if the National Single Window had been deployed in Nigerian ports.
It was learnt that, with the NCS generating N1.5trillion in 2020, the single window would have increased its earnings by additional 90 percent if were in place.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, recently said that the lack of the platform at the seaports was one of the reasons Nigeria dropped one point on the World Bank ranking on Ease of Doing Business.
She said that lack of understanding among agencies of government was delaying the implementation of the National Single Window at the seaports.
The minister said: “Lack of a National Single Window is one of the reasons why in the last assessment of the World Bank Ease of Doing Business, we took a one step slip.
“Recall that in the previous exercise, we moved 24 places but the last one, we slipped one step down and the major reason is the single window. PEBEC which is the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council led by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and 10 ministers as members and the Ministry of Finance and NCS are charged with making sure that this Single Window finally comes into being”, she said.
However, while speaking to our correspondent the Executive secretary; NSC Mr Hassan Bello assured that, “the single window is actually at procurement stage, a committee has been set up by the customs and NPA, they are working hard to see that it comes on stream”.
He explained that, “the single window platform is just to integrate the system that many port users and port providers have, everyone has its own system the whole idea is to integrate it in a single-one-stop- shop and that will eliminate the cumbersome processes and simplify the process and this was going to be done in an electronic way”.