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Latest W’Bank’s ranking on Trading Across Borders see Nigeria at 183rd out of the 190

At a time the federal government is planning to shut land borders against rice smuggling, latest World Bank ranking by Trading Across Borders (TAB) has put Nigeria at 183rd position out of the 190 countries it rated on Ease of Doing Business (EODB) at the border.

The new report saw Nigeria took the last position, while Mali, 85th position, was rated first among the 17 West African countries considered in the report.

Only recently, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman had threatened to seek the intervention of the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on the non-compliance by some government agencies to the presidential order on Ease of Doing Business at the nation’s seaports.

Her anger stemmed from rising complaints by some stakeholders that the level of compliance to the presidential order by some government agencies, one year after the order was issued has left much to be desired.

Already stakeholders’ in import and export have called for a total review of Nigeria’s border trade policies in a way and manner relevant interests will be protected.

Leading the campaign is the President, National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, who had in a letter to the Presidency, dated June 10, 2018, argued Nigeria’s poor ranking on ease of doing business has brought to the fore the need to urgently institute reforms to address the challenges on import, export and transit regulatory procedures.

According to him, Nigeria’s import, export, regulatory and transit procedures are encumbered with lengthy, cumbersome procedures, thus leading to unnecessary delays, high transaction cost and increase of cargo dwell time, which makes our port the most expensive in the globe based on verifiable information.

Amiwero, who has served in more than 167 related Committees with nine of them presidential told Mr. President in letter that the needed reform should be targeted at implementing an integrated set policies and procedures that is globally accepted, which would ensure effective trade facilitation by the reduction of transaction cost, cargo dwell time and ensure safety and security of the processes.

The Managing Director of Eyis Resources Limited observed in the letter that “The poor rating of Nigeria can be seen from the identified challenges associated with the Import-Export, regulatory and transit procedures that is encumbered with lengthy and cumbersome procedure, which resulted to our present ranking of 183 from 190 countries.

“There is the urgent need to constitute a committee of trade procedure Experts, reform specialist and professional, as Task force to address the challenges urgently,” he stated.

Other key issues Amiwero mentioned in the letter include the issues of collapsed scanners, re-evaluate them to know the update and update the scanners for easy cargo examination and enforcement of the executive order in the seaport as stipulated in the Port Related offences, (Amendment) Act 61 of 1999.

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