Nigeria launches Time Release Study in Lagos

15 February 2024

Nigeria launched a Time Release Study (TRS) at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos on 8 February 2024 as the first TRS of several TRS across multiple border posts and involving key stakeholders beyond Customs. The launch was attended by high-level representatives of various ministries, the private sector, and members of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NTFC), illustrating the commitment to a collaborative whole-of-government approach. The WCO’s capacity-building support to the NTFC’s TRS Technical Working Group took place under the auspices of the multi-year partnership between the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the WCO’s Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme as funded by the United Kingdom’s His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Hailing the TRS as a systematic and standardized approach to measure the time taken to clear goods as part of the ongoing efforts to optimize the trading experience with Nigeria, the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, said: "The launch of the TRS in Lagos today underscores our commitment to improving Customs operations and trade facilitation in Nigeria.” He emphasized that efficient and transparent trade practices would benefit the nation, and the collaborative efforts of stakeholders on the TRS would, therefore, benefit Nigeria as a whole and sustainable development. In this context, he thanked the WCO and the UK Government for their support, including in other areas such as Post Clearance Audit and Authorized Economic Operators, and noted the importance of the future journey towards Coordinated Border Management.

Addressing the gathered stakeholders in a video message, the WCO Secretary General, Ian Saunders, noted that facilitating legitimate trade is a means to economic competitiveness, making greater opportunities available to companies of every sector and size.  He added that while “Customs is an essential player in making this happen, it is by no means the only one. That is why the involvement of key members of the political directorate, the National Trade Facilitation Committee, other government agencies, the private sector, and others is so important”.

Various speakers, including the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the TRS Specialist of the Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, echoed the need for collaborative efforts and keeping the momentum towards finalizing the TRS analysis and report. The cross-agency collaboration will culminate in a TRS report, with the stakeholders aiming to publish the key findings within six months of the data collection.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, underlined that the launch of the TRS aligned with the Government’s commitment to facilitating trade and ease of doing business for businesses to flourish and invest in Nigeria. “The TRS will help us enable best practices and recommendations that will benefit businesses and connect communities worldwide” she said. Thanking the NCS officers and recognizing their efforts sometimes under challenging circumstances, she added: “As your Trade Minister, I implore you to double your efforts in focusing on trade facilitation. When you facilitate trade, you are enhancing our trade volume and making our nation more competitive and, with that help, increase our revenue”.

The TRS launch event was widely covered in local and national media. For the NCS statement  please see here.

The Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme looks forward to continuing its multi-year strategic partnership with the NCS.

For more information on the WCO Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, please see here.

For more information about WCO capacity building, please contact