The Nigerian Government has approved a reduction in the number of documents needed for both exports and imports in furtherance of its Enabling Business Environment initiative.
While the number of documents needed to import goods into the country has been reduced from 14 to eight, those needed for exports have similarly been reduced from 10 to seven.
The Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Office of the Vice President, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, stated this in Lagos on Thursday during a sensitisation workshop on ease of doing business reforms hosted by the Nigeria Customs Service.
Oduwole, who is also Coordinator of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council Secretariat, said the aim of the reduction was to make it more convenient for businesses to process their documentation for export or import.
She said that the Federal Government had been very concerned about the low ranking of Nigeria in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ratings and was determined to improve the situation.
She said the government hoped to achieve this by actively engaging stakeholders in the various sectors with a view to identifying the reforms that could be put in place to improve the business environment.
The Assistant Comptroller-General for tariff and trade, Customs headquarters, Robert Alu, said that the ease of doing business was part of the mandate of the NCS.
He said the need to ensure that there was trade facilitation informed the hosting of the sensitisation workshop, to acquaint the various stakeholders with steps being taken by the service towards actualising the enabling business environment mandate of the Federal Government.
Oduwole said the Federal Government also focused on the Small and Medium Enterprise sector to enable operators to reduce the amount of time spent in getting documentation and get access to finance.