Addressing Trade Facilitation Commitments and Implementation Capacity Gaps: Issues and Evidence from Nigeria
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Since the submission of the instrument of ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General (DG) in Davos on February 17, 2017, there has been a concerted effort by Nigeria to strengthen trade capacity and improve trade-related infrastructure so that Nigeria can reap the benefits of trade. Trade facilitation efforts must target delays as well as infrastructure. Weaknesses in infrastructure—both hard (ports and roads) and soft (customs and other regulations)—also adversely affect trade.
Trade facilitation is a major concern for the private sector, as red tape and inefficiencies in border management and corridor performance can raise transport costs substantially, resulting in a major loss. Much of what is needed to improve Nigeria’s trade has already been agreed upon in the context of TFAs. The implementation of what has been agreed is the key obstacle.
This chapter is a step towards highlighting impediments to trade facilitation in Nigeria, the rationale for launching the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF), the role and objectives of the NCTF, the various types of support by development partners in tackling the trade facilitation implementation gap. Further, the chapter concludes by addressing the gap between trade facilitation commitments and implementation. It proffers policy recommendations on what Nigeria needs to do in order to use trade as an engine of economic development.
KeywordsTrade facilitation Commitments Implementation Challenges Nigeria
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