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EoDB: Tinubu launches ‘Single Window’ initiative to enhance revenue, streamline foreign trade procedure

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (middle) in a Group Photograph with Stakeholders and Top Government Officials After the Launch of Single Window Initiative, in the State House, Abuja, FCT

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu activates the National Single Window initiative as a game-changer to revolutionise how trade is conducted, noting it is part of his administration’s commitment to ‘breaking long-standing developmental barriers in advancing the progress, prosperity, and well-being of every Nigerian’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Tuesday, April 16, 2024, launched the National Single Window initiative as a veritable, transformative project to promote the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and propel the Nigerian economy to new heights.

The Federal Government has described the new-fangled initiative as “another bold testament to the President’s commitment to breaking long-standing developmental barriers in advancing the progress, prosperity, and well-being of every Nigerian.”

Speaking at the launch of the initiative in the State House, Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential Spokesman, Tuesday noted President Tinubu said the National Single Window is a game-changer that will revolutionise the way trade is conducted in the country, and with the Office of the President overseeing the steering committee that will drive the reform process forward.

Benefits of National Single Window, by Tinubu

Outlining the benefits of the initiative, President Tinubu explained as the  government simplifies trade compliance through a digital platform, Nigeria will unlock the doors to economic prosperity.

“This initiative will link our ports, government agencies, and key stakeholders, creating a seamless and efficient system that will facilitate trade like never before.”

The President further explained that paperless trade alone is estimated to bring an annual economic benefit of around $2.7 billion.

According to him, countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Kenya and Saudi Arabia have already seen significant improvements in trade efficiency after implementing Single Window systems in their economies.

Tinubu also stated: “It is time for Nigeria to join their ranks and reap the rewards of a streamlined, digitized trade process.

“As your President, I have always believed in the immense potential of our great nation.”

He further averred: “We are a people blessed with resilience, creativity, and an unwavering spirit of enterprise.

“However, for far too long, our economic growth has been hindered by existing complexities and inefficiencies in our trade processes. Today, we say no more!”

The Nigerian leader also projected: “Imagine a Nigeria where businesses can save time and resources, where small enterprises can reach global markets, and where the informal eCommerce sector is brought into the fold, increasing our tax revenue base.

“This is the Nigeria we are building with the National Single Window.”

The President declared: “We cannot afford to lose an estimated $4 billion annually due to red tape, delays, and corruption at our ports.

“The National Single Window will address these issues head-on, preventing revenue leakage and facilitating effective trade. “By doing so, we will create a more transparent, secure, and business-friendly environment that will attract investment and spur economic growth.”

Tinubu equally emphasised that the implementation of the National Single Window would not be “an overnight process” as it would require dedication, collaboration, and a phased approach in view of continental ramifications that extend far beyond national development imperatives alone.

He, however, affirmed: “I assure you, my fellow Nigerians, that we are fully committed to seeing this project through.

“We will work tirelessly to ensure its success, engaging with all partner agencies and stakeholders to create a system that works for everyone.”

The President said: “Moreover, the National Single Window is not just about Nigeria. By linking our system with those of other African nations, we will expedite cargo movement and optimise intra-Africa trade.

“This initiative is a testament to our commitment to regional integration and our belief in the power of collaboration.”

He also noted: “I call upon every Nigerian to embrace this initiative with open arms.

“Let us work together, as one nation, to make the National Single Window a resounding success.

“Let us show the world that Nigeria is ready to take its rightful place as a leader in global trade.”

He stated: “Together, we will build a Nigeria that is stronger, more prosperous, and more united than ever before. “The National Single Window is our gateway to that future, and I am honoured to lead us on this transformative journey.”

Single Window concept to reduce trade costs, boost transparency, says FIRS Chairman

Explaining the fundamentals of the project, Mr. Zacch Adedeji, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said data harmonisation is a crucial component of the initiative.

Adedeji stated this involves enabling efficient capture, definition, analysis, and reconciliation of regulatory trade documents within a unified technological mechanism.

The FIRS Chief stated: “We will reduce barriers to efficient timing, improve economic metrics, increase transparency, reduce trade costs, and boost revenue.

“The implementation plan will be carefully crafted with short-term, medium-term, and long-term phases to ensure a smooth and effective rollout.”

He also said: “The success of this project hinges on the unwavering commitment and collaboration of all stakeholders.

“It requires strong government participation and engagement from all partner agencies. Together, we will work tirelessly to overcome any obstacle and ensure the seamless implementation of the National Single Window project.”

Adedeji added: “We are ushering in a new wave of economic prosperity, efficiency, and boundless opportunities. The National Single Window is not just a project.

“It is a symbol of our collective aspiration and our determination to build a better Nigeria for all of our people.”

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