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Nigeria, Ghana to collaborate on ”Single Window” cargo clearance


Lagos -The Ghanaian Government on Thursday pledged to collaborate with Nigeria to facilitate ‘’Single Window’’ cargo clearance procedure at the ports.
Mr Murtala Mohammed, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana, made the pledge when he led officials of the ministry on a visit to the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in Lagos.
Mohammed said the team was in Nigeria to ensure smooth implementation of the Single Window regime.
“It is very clear to everybody that the only way we can rake the needed revenue for the economic development of our countries is to see how best we can block loop holes.
‘’How we can facilitate trade so that we can get more revenue for the government.
“Many people spent several hours at the ports in order to have their goods cleared. In Ghana, you have to go through about 23 tables before you have your goods cleared; something that can be done in one hour.
“Nigeria is a big brother; we have a lot of commonalities with Nigeria; that is the reason why we are not in Senegal, Chad and Togo,“ he said.
Mohammed said that because Ghana and Nigeria had a lot of things in common, including culture, ‘’this is why we decided to come to Nigeria’’.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration would increase the relationship between both countries, adding that they were aware that Nigeria was still in the process of full implementation of Single Window.
In his response, President of ANLCA, Mr Olayiwola Shittu, said that the issue of corruption would not be eliminated until paper transactions in clearing goods were stopped.
Shittu said ANLCA was a pace-setter in making sure that there was compliance with regulations at all levels as well as in reducing human interface in clearance of cargo at ports.
He commended the efforts of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on the introduction of an electronic template for its operations.
He explained that the template would reduce human contact and road traffic, adding that agents could transact their businesses anywhere and at any time.
Also speaking, the Director, Inspectorate and Compliant of SON, Mr Bede Obayi, said that the organisation had keyed into Federal Government’s system to fast-track cargo clearance process.
Obayi said that SON had made several efforts to ensure that all activities were electronically conducted to remove human contact in cargo transaction.
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“The challenge is that agents need to comply with the requirements of the programme so that goods can be tested before coming into the country,’’ he said. (NAN)

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