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In a bid to improve trade facilitation and ensure a harmonized, standardized, and simplified trading processes in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in collaboration with World Bank Nigeria Team today paid a work-in visit and inspection to the Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigeria Customs Service and APM Terminals.

The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite ably represented by Dr Brenda Max-Nduagwuibe stated that the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, through the eNTFC has been working tirelessly to ensure a harmonized, standardized, and simplified trading processes adding that it is committed to achieving the goal and objective of the agreement.

According to Dr. Anite, the visit to the port is to enable the Ministry, and the World Bank team to fully understand the daily operations, inspection processes, trade bottlenecks, to identify policy options to make trade seamless for the Nigerian government and to interact and engage with relevant government agencies present at the port, to better understand their operations and day-to-day activities.

In his remarks, the World Bank representative, Aleksandar Stojanor stated that he and his team were there to find out how the Agencies operate and also know the various challenges that they are facing and how to collaborate in trade facilitation. He stated that the World Bank has a state level operation that has an interstate trade related disbursement link indicator, which improves inter state trade and seamless movement of goods across states in Nigeria export promotion at the state level.

He disclosed that there is an operation in the pipeline that will support trade facilitation which has a link indicator that is on reducing inspections at the border and improving trade facilitation through authorised economic operator system with the Custom Service.

The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council, Mr Pius Ukeyima Akutah disclosed that the Council is one of the major stakeholders in trade facilitation in the country and has embarked on the promotion of an establishment of trade facilitation tools such as the Border Information Centres (BIC), the Inland Dry Ports, vehicles transit areas across the country.

“These are meant for not only to facilitate trade but to also bring shipping activities to the hinterlands, decongest the seaports especially Apapa and Tincan”.

He assured that the Council will continue to partner with the World Bank and National Trade facilitation committee to facilitate trade and other related activities.

During the inspection, the Nigeria Customs Service in Apapa disclosed various steps that had been taken to facilitate trade and also the bottlenecks they have in carrying out their jobs.

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