By Henry Umoru
DETERMINED to promote trade through the facilitation of regional integration, the Federal government at the weekend set up a Committee to carry out the responsibility.
According to the government, it is hoped that with the inauguration of task force, there would be proper enforcement of policy on trade facilitation as well as ensure that all barriers to its implementation were addressed in line with national development strategy and international best practices in consonance with the operations of developed nations.
Inaugurating the task force on trade facilitation weekend, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Senator Martins Jubril Kuye disclosed that with the increase in goods and services traded worldwide through computerization and globalization of business, it has become imperative for the government to take this move to make uniform rules that were users-friendly and also very efficient and effective.
Kuye noted that the Committee is saddled with the major responsibility of conducting sporadic visits to the ports and border post to monitor, evaluate trade facilitation activities and make recommendation on trade facilitation goals and operational solutions.
According to him, various ministries and agencies of government will be directly involved in the promotion of trade in the country, also stressed the need for the reduction in trade barriers and tariff along the borders of the West African Sub region, adding, â€œGlobal concern for trade facilitation has led to the continuous WTO negotiations which are meant to reduce trade inhibiting bureaucracy at the borders that slows down trade between countries and multiple trade barriers have discourage trade and hampered the free flow of goods and services within Nigeriaâ€.
â€œThe Federal Government, is aware that the enthronement of cost efficient procedure at ports and borders will curb corruption and also make the country more credible to foreigners and help stimulate trade and investments thereby increasing volumes of transaction and increased duty collection.
â€œTo ensure efficient and effective trade facilitation, the present administration is creating a conducive investment climate aimed at attracting foreign direct investments, addressing issues like security and corruption as well as assist local manufacturers get access to land, security, cheap and improved supply of electricity, road construction and maintenance to increase haulage and Railway network.
â€œThe task forceÂ is also expected to strengthen policy coherence between national development priorities and international obligations, sensitize the public on trade measures and standards, and also ensure that there is total elimination multiple taxation and unauthorized check points in the country and along her border corridorsâ€.
Responding,Â Â Chairman of the Task Force and Acting Director of Trade, Mr. David Adejuwon promised that the Task force will do its best to ensure that foreign investors were attracted into the country and trade conducted in a conducive environment.
â€œWhere necessary we shall seek the counsel of the Ministry to endorse some recommendations necessary for implementation and also create a business friendly environment for the inflow of foreign investors to stimulate growth to the economy.
â€œECOWAS has implored all member countries to reduce check points across their borders corridors to a maximum of three checkpoints of which Nigeria between Seme border and Lagos there are about 35 illegal check points which is bad for the promotion of businessâ€.