By Patience Danjuma
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has admitted that many Nigerians, while returning from abroad, are often frustrated at the nation’s airports; and others, at the seaports in bringing in goods.
The vice president said this at the State House in Abuja on Monday at the sideline of the 7th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum.
“The point that was made especially about two people sitting together, questioning you and passing your passport from one person to the other, is what we are all generally irritated about,” he said.
According to him, what is required is i-check, “which is quite an elaborate device which enables us to get advance passenger information ahead of passengers arriving at the ports.
“This enables us to do two things; one, it enables us to give visas on arrival because you already have the information of the passenger.
“Secondly, it removes the necessity of more than one person checking the passport because you already have advance information, the other security person works from the backend. We expect that when that is installed, we would be able to achieve that and remove the nuisance of two, three people checking passports.
“Last week, we held a meeting with all the agencies that are usually at the ports, and you find that there are several of them. The idea is to reduce this number and ensure only those who must absolutely be there are there. There are some who don’t need to be there but rather be summoned when their services are required.”
The Vice President said the permanent solution the government was proposing for bringing in and taking out goods from Nigeria’s ports “is through our single window, the National Trading Platform.”
Osinbajo said the government had gone very far with that “and we expect that should be on stream very shortly. We are at the point where this is going to FEC for a final approval.”
“With the single window, a lot of the stress will be greatly reduced, and with the appropriate scanners run by concessions with PPP arrangements, we should be able to achieve greater ease of coming into our ports and exporting goods from our ports,” he added.
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