The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI says poor infrastructure and inadequate facilities at the ports are largely responsible for high cost of doing business at the nation’s seaports.
Mr Babatunde Ruwase, President, LCCI, stated this in Lagos on Thursday during the chamber’s freight forwarders group annual seminar themed “Trade Facilitation on Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System: Advantages and Development.”
He was was represented by the Vice President of the LCCI, Mr Varkey Verghese, remarked that operators and users of Nigerian ports were faced with bureaucracy, constant delays, high costs and illegal charges.
Ruwase noted that the adverse operating environment of the nation’s ports would continue to hurt government’s aspiration to grow the non-oil sector and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil revenue for national development.
In a bid to solve some of the challenges at the ports, the Customs had put in place a new system called the Nigerian Integrated Customs Information System 11 with a view to facilitating ease of doing business in Nigeria’s ports and connecting the trade community, the LCCI president said.
He identified the NICIS 11 system as a programme that could connect all stakeholders including foreign, government and the private sector on a single-online platform.
“I wish to challenge us to give our support to the programme to foster a better business environment in Nigeria. The chamber will remain committed to the cause of ease of doing business, particularly in Nigerian ports,” he said.
Also speaking, the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (Retd) declared that trade facilitation was at the core of the NCS work, adding that this would be achievable with simplified and harmonised trade documents, processes and procedures flow throughout the supply chain, generally agreed data standard and increased transparency and public/private partnership in the design of trade documents, procedures and processes.
Adetoye Tade, stressed the role of information and communication technology in trade facilitation, saying that it was a critical strategic measure for modern Customs organisations to manage complexities in today’s global trading environment.