Buhari approves Single Window platform for maritime agencies

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the operation a Single Window platform for all the government agencies operating in the nation’s maritime sector of the economy.

This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at the just concluded Maritime Stakeholders’ Conference with the theme,” Building A Sustainable Maritime industry in Nigeria”, organized by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Lagos.

Amaechi who observed that corruption was the bane of the Nigeria’s maritime sector however stated that with the introduction of the Single Window platform, corruption would stop in the maritime sector as according to him, there would be only few persons at the ports.

He said,” I have said that if you want to eliminate corruption, computerize the system. If you don’t see human being, will you give him bribe? In the maritime sector, the President has approved for a Single Window and if we introduce the Single Window, corruption will stop in the maritime sector because you will see only a few persons. The reason why there is corruption is because there are so many human beings that you will have to meet. They deal with the funds, they with human beings and if you don’t give it to them, then you won’t get any business that you want in the maritime sector.

“But if everything is computerized, then who are you going to pay bribe to? Go to the computer and pay your bribe to the computer? We have four years, before we leave office, we will achieve it, we are determined. All I wanted was the Presidential approval and I have gotten the Presidential approval and we will introduce and sustain it”.

On what becomes the fate of the platform after the lifespan of this administration, he opined, if we have done our bit, let history record that we have done our bit, let history say that it is in our regime that we introduced Single window and that it is in our regime that we are able to enforce it and if the new government comes and they do otherwise, well, too bad”.

The Minister reiterated government’s resolve to revive the National Shipping Line which he said was not going to have federal Government’s fund in it saying that the Ministry had invited private investors within and outside the country to bring the money for the project.

He revealed that he had set up a committee to deal with the revival of the National Shipping line even as he said that committee was supposed to submit its report in early June to him so that the Ministry would know how to move forward from there.

“I realized in the course of studying what went wrong in the maritime sector, corruption played a very prominent role and the reason why corruption continues to thrive in the economy and in Nigeria is because there is no punishment for corruption. We have the laws but the problem is enforcement. There is no aspect in Nigeria that a law is not in place but the problem is they are not implemented”, he said.

Recall that Nigeria Customs Service has before now launched the National Single Window (NSW) which is aimed at integrating all the government agencies in one platform for the purpose of achieving a 24 hour cargo clearance at the ports, reduce overcrowding, eliminate corruption and enhance revenue collection for the Federal Government but has since been comatose.

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