The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Senator Jubril Maartins-Kuye, hasÂ inaugurated a Task Force to support the enforcement of the countryâ€™s policy on trade as well as to ensure that all barriers to its implementation were addressed.
The task force comprises officials drawn from Federal Ministries of Commerce and industry, Transport, Finance including National Association of Chambers of Commerce, industry, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA), Association of Nigerian Exporters (ANE), and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). Other agencies include; Nigerian Customs Service(NCS), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), National Agency for Food, Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Quarantine Service (NQS), Federal Produce Inspection Service (FPIS), Nigerian export Promotion council (NEPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NEXIM Bank, etc.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Senator Martins-Kuye noted that the global concern for trade facilitation has led to continuous World Trade organizations (WTO) negotiations which are meant to reduce trade inhibiting bureaucracy at the borders that slow down trade between countries.
He added that the spectacular increase in the amount of goods and services traded world-wide as a result of globalization and computerization of business transactions have added a sense of urgency to the need to make the rules more uniform, user friendly and efficient. He said that multiple trade barriers haveÂ discourage trade and hampered the free flow of goods and service within Nigeria.
The Minister further explained that Federal government was fully aware of the need for enthronement of cost efficient procedure at our ports and borders that will guarantee a win-win situation which will curb corruption and make the country more credible in the eyes of the world.
The Term of Reference(TOR) Task Force was among others; to conduct intermittent visits to Nigeria ports and borders post; to monitor and evaluate trade facilitation activities; make recommendations on strategic trade facilitation goals and operational solutions; to sensitize the public on trade facilitation measures, practices and standards; as well asÂ ensure reduction of agencies at ports and boarders, reduce administrative bottlenecks and total elimination of unauthorized check points.
Responding , the Chairman of Task Force and the Ag. Director Trade, Mr. David Adejuwon pointed out that between Lagos and Semen border there were 35 illegal check points which are not good for promotion of business in Nigeria.
He said that Heads of States and Government of ECOWAS had given directive to member countries of ECOWAS to reduce check point along border corridor to maximum of three (3) at designated locations as part of measure to ensure free movement of goods and services. He assured that the Task force under him will work hard to justify the confidence repose in them