NPA tasks SON, Customs on creation of export desks in terminals
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has charged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to establish their export desks at the export processing terminals across the country.
Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, who stated this recently in Lagos at the 2022 Zenith Bank International trade seminar on non-oil exports with the theme: Unlocking Opportunities In Nigeria Non-oil Export Business, said there should be proper synergy between vessels that come into the country and those that leave the nation’s ports.
He said the NPA’s truck electronic call-up system to ease the movement of cargoes into the port is functioning well, adding that the authority had created pre-gates where trucks should park before entering the ports.
“We are working with the government to ensure diversification of the economy and we are encouraging non-oil exports. Also, on deploying the electronic call up system, we have licensed no fewer than 10 export processing terminals in the country.
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“The terminals are supposed to be at locations whereby one stalk process, package, certify seal and send it directly to the port.
“But, for it to succeed, we need other government agencies to understand that the port is a maritime ecosystem not only for the NPA, but also other government agencies. And so, for the export processing terminals that were recreated, we expect the NCS and SON to have export desks there for certification,” he stated.
Stressing that three of 10 export processing terminals would be activated shortly, Bello-Koko, who noted that barges were also introduced at a cost borne by the exporters thereby making export more expensive, also stressed that the export terminals would reduce the burden in future.
He also advocated the introduction of the National Single Window to ease the movement of cargo in the country, stressing that automation remained crucial to reducing congestion and ensuring speedy processing of import and export documentations.
“In the documentation whether import or export, all starts with the consignee and the form is Form M and this has to do with port destination, loading and discharging.
So, there is the need to have one form that the transaction will be done even in payment. One bulk payment can be made and everybody is paid separately at the same time. This is obtainable in other neighbouring African countries and I believe we can do it here,” he added.
Also speaking, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, noted that the bank had introduced various initiatives and interventions that would harness the opportunities in the non-oil sector to create wealth for the country.
Emefiele pointed out that the apex bank introduced rebate facilities to encourage exporters, bridge gaps by providing funding for capital expenditure, saying: “We have the N500 billion non-oil stimulation facilitation commercial agricultural scheme for agricultural commodities and many others and so, Nigeria should look inwards for economic growth and development.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Group Managing Director Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said opportunities in the non-oil export was expansive with huge opportunities in its value chain and that the bank was using the seminar to create awareness to boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings capacity.
He pointed out that since the inception of the seminar in 2016, it had achieved several results including change in policy implementation, transparent record keeping and enhanced funding, among others.