Nigeria canvasses regional integration in global trade

MINISTER of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her Trade and Investment counterpart, Dr. Olusegun Aganga have called for implementation of single window system in the West and Central African sub-region in order to promote international trade and ensure cost-effective movement of goods within the sub region.

The call came as the Federal Government yesterday approved the adoption of the single window concept in the nation’s international trade.

Speaking at the opening of a sub-regional workshop organised by the African Shippers Council in collaboration with the Nigerian Shippers Council yesterday in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala noted that the Asian nations had witnessed great economic strides through aggressive international trade assisted by the deployment of the single window system, hence the need for cooperation among the nations in the sub-region to ensure that the system was adopted.

The minister who noted that international trade had become the bedrock of economic development in the 21st Century, stressed that any region that failed to trade efficiently would languish in underdevelopment and poverty.

She said international trade demanded efficient harmonisation of flow of physical goods, flow of money as well as information between parties involved, adding that single window system had been designed to eliminate inefficiencies in the logistics involved.

“The establishment of a Single Window System constitutes an important building block in trade facilitation and also serves as a global best practice for One-Stop Shop Operations in cargo clearance as the reduction of personal contacts in trade transactions would enhance the anti-corruption drive of government”.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Finance Minister of Niger...

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Finance Minister of Nigeria, 2003-2006; Managing Director of the World Bank, December 2007-present of May 2010), at the 2004 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his address, Aganga said the major focus of the present administration was the rapid transformation of the economy through drastic improvement in its international trade and the attraction of Foreign Direct Investments across critical sectors of the economy.

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