The Federal Government has promised to procure more x-ray scanning machines to fast-track cargo examination and clearance at the nation’s sea ports.
Okokon Udo, Director, Home Finance, Ministry of Finance and National Planning, disclosed this at a sensitisation workshop for importers and stakeholders in Kano on Thursday.
The workshop was organised by the Trade and Exchange Department of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The theme of the workshop was “Trade Regulatory Compliance: A veritable tool for achieving trade facilitation in Nigeria”.
Mr Udo, represented by Mabel Negbedion, said the measure was in line with the present administration’s determination to make the ports user friendly and improve ease of doing business in the country.
“Government is not relenting in its efforts to procure more x-ray scanning machines to fast-track cargo examination and clearance at ports,” he said.
According to him, government target is to establish a trade single window that will enable stakeholders to have full control over their trade transactions anytime, anywhere.
“As you are aware, in 2017, government undertook a review of the import guidelines, procedures and documentation requirements under the DIS to reduce the turn-around time for clearance of goods at the ports and other entry points in line with best practices,’’ he said.
He said documentation requirements for imports were reduced from 14 to eight for ease of compliance and urged importers to reciprocate by complying with provisions of the Revised Import Guidelines.
Mr Udo urged importers to familiarise themselves with guidelines on regulated equipment, food and products issued by Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, and National Environmental Standards Regulations and Enforcement Agency, NESREA.
He noted that compliance with the guidelines would further enhance ease of doing business at the ports and minimise port congestion.
According to him, keeping track with compliance requirements is essential for smooth business operations.
“Importers must be conscious of the effect of non-compliance with statutory regulations and take appropriate proactive steps to be compliant in order not to derail the ease of doing business at the ports in particular and Nigeria in general,” he said.
Afam Dunoi, an Assistant Director with NAFDAC, said the agency had taken measures to ensure proper control and regulation of products as part of effort to ensure compliance and availability of safe and quality products.
Mr Dunoi said the agency’s mandate was to ensure availability of safe and quality products and that it had put in place measures that would improve trade across the nation’s borders.