Nigeria needs clear procedures on cross border trade – LCCI

Nigeria needs to have clear procedures on cross border trade and make it easy to comply with by all kinds and sizes of enterprises involved in trading across borders.

This was disclosed by the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Chinyere Almona in an exclusive interview with The Punch.

She said. “We need to have players in the cross border informal sector transit to the formal sector, we need to have clear procedures on cross border trade and make it easy to comply with by all kinds and sizes of enterprises involved in trading across borders.

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“Most of our borders are unmanned, giving room to smuggling and as long as smuggling is lucrative and untamed, most of the players in that space will like to remain informal.

“We have petroleum selling at higher prices in our neighbouring countries which motivates the movement of this product across borders at all cost.”

On ways FG should focus on execution of policies to improve the nation’s business environment, she explained that government must involve the relevant stakeholders to be part of the planning and conception stage.

“For a successful implementation or execution of policies, government must involve the relevant stakeholders to be part of the planning and conception stage.

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Governments should learn to own projects they take over from previous administrations and see that they complete such projects,” she added.

On her expectations from SMEs, the LCCI boss emphasized that they must build capacity in understanding the rules, opportunities, procedures and financing options available for traded expansion through the AfCFTA.

She said, “Government must create an enabling environment by curbing the menace of insecurity that has made it difficult for businesses to access raw materials for production.

“If our SMEs produce at higher costs, their products will not compete well at the international markets. Thirdly, there should be dedicated funding for targeted sectors where SMEs operate to empower more SMEs to scale up to meet international standards. Fourthly, SMEs require support in packaging and marketing to the whole world.”

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