By Lucy Ogalue
Jime told the Nigeria News Agency that the most important element in doing business, especially commerce, “is the cost factor”.
“The Shippers Council is in some cases involved in advocacy and right now we are fortunate that the federal government, in its wisdom, has set up an interagency platform called the Nigeria Port Process Manual ( NPPM).
“And the Shippers’ Council has been given leadership on this particular platform. This is the platform that is gradually starting to introduce some sort of common sense into the business world when it comes to our ports.
“All offenses, especially those that interfere with corrupt tendencies; we have a responsibility to put an end to and ensure as much as possible we eliminate the incidence of corrupt practices in our ports.
“Whether spawned by government officials or by other private members or private citizens doing business in our ports.
“This, and a few other things, that if you look at our website, you will be able to appreciate the extent to which the Shippers’ Council is involved in ensuring that the cost of doing business in Nigeria is kept to its lowest minimum, because in whenever possible, ”he said.
According to the boss of NSC, if the cost of doing business is high, there are implications in the inability for business to be conducted profitably and efficiently.
He said the high cost of shipping, which was not unique to Nigeria, forced the African Shippers Union Council (UASC) to convene a meeting of an expert committee to suggest ways to mitigate it.
“Therefore, as a key requirement for trade, Shippers’ Councils in Africa, particularly within the West and Central Africa sub-region, have recognized the need to engage in cost mitigation measures.
“It is clear that Africa in the sub-region has come to realize the reality to do something fundamental to change this particular factor of doing business in a way that can positively affect the conduct of business across our borders. .
“We are working with sister nations to come up with solutions on how we can mitigate the cost of doing business.
“Now we are waiting for the expert panel reports to come out so that we can speak more directly to the issues that have been addressed.
“But as a nation, from the experience of our own country, I can say without a doubt in my mind that there are several factors that prevent us from doing business profitably,” he said. declared.
Jime said the cumbersome customs clearance process at ports, lack of infrastructure, corruption, etc., makes doing business difficult for investors, posing a challenge.
He said the council was, however, working with Nigerian Customs to ensure a speedy customs clearance process through electronic means.
“The other issue the Shippers Council is dealing with is the border information centers that we are setting up around border towns.
“This will link us to our neighbors whether in Seme, whether in Jimia and of course, around the Cameroon-Nigeria border.
“We are setting up these border information centers because we believe traders should be offered the information they may need to be successful in trading across our borders.
“Right now there is a lot more informal commerce going on. In other words, we do not have a very formal trade network in place to help our traders to maximize the conduct of business across our border.
“In the wisdom of the Shippers Council, we felt the need to establish these border information centers so that they are able to help traders with the necessary information they might need.”
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