The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali has assured that the much-awaited National Single Window platform for cargo clearance at the nation’s seaport will take off by the end of the second quarter of 2017.
The national single window is expected to simplify and facilitate cargo clearance by bringing together all government agencies involved in the process under one platform.
Ali who disclosed this last week in Lagos said the federal government has shown its commitment towards the project and has set up a committee that is already working towards the establishment of the single window.
He said the adoption of single window would make Nigerian ports more competitive and create avenue for ease of doing business at the ports.
“The issue of single window has already been imbibed by the federal government. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is planning a committee that is working towards the establishment of single window.
“That I believe will come to fruition not too long from now. Hopefully in the second or third quarter of this year we should be able to have single window in place in Nigeria. If that is done, then we would have created a broad band for all of us to key into and create that avenue for ease of doing business,” he said
Managing Director, Nigerian Port Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman also corroborated Ali’s position while fielding questions from journalists on some of the achievements recorded by the agency since her assumption of office.
Usman said NPA and the Nigeria Customs Service were collaborating to actualize the single window project in the port within the next three months.
According to her, the operational framework and business plan for setting up the single window platform has already been concluded.
“One of the things we have discussed at our initial tour and are being addressed is the need for the national single window. We have made significant progress on that. We are working with the Nigeria Customs Service and we have concluded on the business plan and the operational framework of setting up the national single window.
“So we hope within the next three months, we will have the conclusion on retaining a vendor that would implement it for Nigerian ports, Customs and indeed all other agencies operating in the port,” she said.
The national single window was originally developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It was developed in 2005 as part of the moves to “simplify, harmonise and standardise international trade procedures”, as well as associated information on trade.
So far, over 70 countries have implemented the project because of its capacity to improve trade efficiency and competitiveness among trading nations.
Developing countries including Ghana and Republic Benin have also implemented the national single window.