18th May, 2012
Nigeria’s sheer size and strategic position makes her a natural candidate for the Single Window (SW) platform for cargo clearance.
Ghanaian-born British citizen Valentina Mintah, who made the observation at a recent forum in Abuja, pointed out that with the nation’s stupendous maritime endowment, the Single Window platform may in fact be what the government has been waiting for, to eliminate sharp practices, revenue leakages and boost the nation’s march towards full compliance with international best practices.
“The Single Window is a tool for creating an enabling effective environment for our importers, exporters and agencies that are involved in international trade to make a simple, fast and cost effective choice, in the course of moving their goods from one country, across the border into another country,” Valentino said.
She explained further that the cost of initiating the measure was minimal, once the right model was identified and chosen, as the authorities could either go for a purely public private partnership (PPP) model, a build, operate and transfer (BOT), donor model or a combination of the options, so as to ensure that the country begins to enjoy its widespread benefits on time; adding however, that it was good that the legal environment in Nigeria allows a PPP; which could be one of the most cost-effective options.
Mintah said: “The Single Window, looking through the fabric of the economy is a policy that would benefit everyone; from the man on the street, right up to the Government. And that is why a lot is dependent on the issue of having a true understanding of what the whole concept is all about. That is the main challenge; and once that fact is fully understood, then everyone would then easily understand what is there for them to do, because they already understand what is also there for them to gain.
“They would equally understand what is in it for the country and the region as gains of international trade.