The President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, Capt. Tajudeen Alao, has said that the federal government’s Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) will stimulate quicker cargo clearance across the nation’s ports.

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Alao who made the observation in Lagos recently, observed that the establishment of the project would also boost Internally Generated Revenue and enhance the country’s global visibility.

According to him, the world had moved beyond conventional methods of doing business with the advancement of technology.

He said: “More than 30 years ago, when Singapore grew from a third-world country to a first-world country, the President, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, led the drive for technology awareness, and now look at where Singapore is today in terms of technology.

“So, Nigeria must make more efforts to keep abreast with technological advancements worldwide. The establishment of the Trade Modernisation Project would add value in terms of Internally Generated Revenue through improved Customs clearance procedures.

“Consider the time when we had to carry files around, now everything is done through ICT. Nigeria must modernise, and I am glad this initiative is underway”.

Alao explained that without trade, growth is impossible and that creating an atmosphere conducive for trade “is essential to reap its benefits”.

Assuring Nigerians of the tremendous benefits that would follow the establishment of the Trade Modernisation Project, he said master mariners were upgrading themselves globally to remain relevant in the maritime industry.

The Master Mariner commended terminal operators for upgrading the access corridors at the port and urged them to enhance other facilities to reduce business processing time.

Meanwhile, the General Manager of the Trade Facilitation Project, Mr Ahmed Ogunshola, explained the numerous benefits accruable to a nation when the Customs Modernisation Project (CMP) is fully automated.

The Federal Government and Trade Modernisation Project Limited had signed a 20-year Concession Agreement on May 30, 2022, to provide best-in-class technology for the implementation of paperless customs at the Nigeria Customs operations.