Alliance initiative to streamline border processes completed successfully
Government and private sector representatives came together to mark the successful implementation of a project designed to streamline key border processes in Nigeria, improving the trading environment in Africa’s largest economy.
Moving goods across borders in Nigeria entails dealing with various government agencies with overlapping mandates, discouraging trade and hindering competitiveness.
Recognising the need to address this issue, the Alliance started working with the Nigerian Customs Service and other relevant public and private sector actors to increase coordination between border agencies.
Initially focused on improving air cargo operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, Alliance initiatives have since helped to lay the groundwork for scaling up trade facilitation reform at national level.
Besides enhancing inter-agency collaboration among different border authorities through regular engagement, the project has also successfully institutionalised public private dialogue at National Customs Service level.
At the airport, the piloting of new Standard Operating Procedures for joint inspections of cargo has paved the way for faster clearance times for goods and a more benign working environment.
At the official event to formalise successful completion, participants praised the Alliance’s public private partnership approach to trade facilitation, confirming increased levels of trust between business and government.
“Working with the Global Alliance has better positioned us to advocate for our members. It has given us a platform to work with government agencies so that they can support us to facilitate trade for our women entrepreneurs and women traders.” said Blessing Irabor, President, Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Nigeria
“The whole attitude to trade at the airport has changed. Working with the Global Alliance has allowed stakeholders to appreciate that facilitating trade creates a win-win situation for both public and private sector. As we speak, there is a standing committee now between customs and licensed customs agents in which we discuss and solve that affect our operations.” said Olufemi Kayode, Representative, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents
“The Global Alliance has assisted us very much in harmonising processes across government agencies. The Alliance has brought all the agencies together to sit down and look at things holistically and ensure that all our processes are harmonised in line with international best practices. We are working towards Standard Operational Procedures for all agencies that operate in the clearance process.” said Nafiu Isiyaku, Comptroller, Trade Facilitation, Department of Tariff and Trade , NCS HQ