By Aneima Umoh
EFFORT by the current administration to create better enabling business environment in Nigeria will soon yield result as the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, and the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, UN/CEFACT, have agreed to simplify national and international transactions by streamling processes and procedures for export trade.
This collaborative effort is coming on the heels of recent successes recorded in the country’s quest to ease the time spent on doing business, according to World Bank Report, which noted Nigeria’s marginal improvement from 169 to 149 out of the 190 countries surveyed globally.
“This programme has come at such a critical time when we are redefining our nation’s economy by accelerating its diversification agenda. This is the thrust of the current administration under President Muhammadu Buhari which is targeted at economic diversification and inclusive growth,” said the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, who also doubles as the Head of Nigerian Delegation to the UN/CEFACT.
Awolowo, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a sensitisation workshop on trade facilitation, observed that it was imperative to recognise and utilize every linkage required to achieve the Federal Government’s economic agenda.
The gains from UN/CEFACT’s role, he said, would be considerably beneficial to small businesses, for which the costs of compliance with various trade-related procedures and processes are disproportionally high.
According to him, “This is particularly true in the case of low-value shipments, where the cost of administrative procedures represents a large proportion of total cost incurred, and for Nigeria, where Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, make up the vast majority of businesses.”