Nigeria Loses $4Bn Annually To Inefficiency In Import, Export Processes -FIRS Boss


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By Sunday Etuka, Abuja 

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zacch Adedeji, has disclosed that about $4 Billion is lost annually to inefficiency in import and export processes.

This, he said, could be tackled with the revenue optimisation and ease of doing business initiative of the current administration.

Adedeji spoke at the inauguration of a Steering Committee to drive an initiative called the National Single Window Project (NSWP) on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He thanked President Tinubu for the project and approving FIRS and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as the project’s implementing agencies and financial managers.

According to him, the project aligns with Tinubu’s “commitment to stimulating our economy through enhanced trade facilitation and a bold step towards realizing Nigeria’s immense potential.”

“As we strive towards achieving sustainable economic growth, we must embrace high-impact projects such as the National Single Window.

“By simplifying the government trade compliance process through a cutting-edge digital platform, we will unlock a myriad of economic benefits.

“This initiative will serve as a catalyst for achieving an average GDP growth rate of 7% annually, propelling Nigeria to new heights of prosperity. The National Single Window is not just a technological advancement; it is the gateway to a more connected, efficient, and transparent system.

“By linking our ports, government agencies, and key stakeholders, we will create a seamless ecosystem that facilitates trade, saves time for businesses, and opens up a world of opportunities.

“From providing access to education and healthcare to enabling small businesses to reach global markets, digital connectivity is the key to unlocking Nigeria’s true potential.

“The heavy costs, delays, and inefficiencies at our ports has been a constant burden. It is estimated that a staggering $4 billion USD annually is lost due to these inefficiencies.

“By addressing revenue leakage prevention and facilitating effective trade, we will reclaim these lost resources and channel them towards the betterment of our society”, Adedeji said.

He disclosed that “Steering Committee – National Single Window 2 Paperless trade alone is projected to bring an annual economic benefit of around $2.7 billion USD – a testament to the transformative power of this initiative.

“The success stories of countries that have embraced Single Window systems are evident. Singapore, Korea, Kenya and Saudi Arabia have all witnessed significant improvements in trade efficiency after implementing similar initiatives.

“It is now Nigeria’s turn to join the ranks of these progressive nations and reap the rewards of a streamlined, digitized trade environment”, he said.

The FIRS Boss explained that “The National Single Window is not just about facilitating trade; it is also a powerful tool for expanding our tax base and capturing the informal e-Commerce sector. By providing a unified, modern digital platform for expeditious paperless cargo clearance and logistics, we will bring more businesses into the formal economy, ensuring that everyone contributes their fair share to our nation’s development.

“Moreover, by linking the Nigerian National Single Window with other African nations, we will expedite cargo movement and optimize intra-Africa trade. This will position Nigeria as a leader in regional trade facilitation, fostering stronger economic ties with our neighbors and creating new opportunities for growth and collaboration”, he said.

Adedeji who said that the current international trade environment is complex, involving disparate systems and requiring an average of 40 documents per transaction, noted that
Nigeria’s lack of a comprehensive trade facilitation system has led to bottlenecks, corruption, port delays, decreased revenue, and a negative business environment.

“The National Single Window is a decisive response to these challenges”, he said.

He assured that “by improving trade facilitation, revenue generation, economic growth, transparency, security, and streamlined processes, we will transform Nigeria into a global trade powerhouse.

“Data harmonization is a crucial component of this initiative, enabling us to capture, define, analyze, and reconcile regulatory trade documents efficiently.

“Through the National Single Window, we will reduce clearance times, improve economic metrics, increase transparency, reduce trade costs, and boost revenue”, he said.

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

“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 obstacles and ensure the seamless implementation of the National Single Window.

“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 aspirations and our determination to build a better Nigeria,” he said.


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