How PEBEC Is Improving Trade Across Borders in Nigeria


Tuesday, February 19, 2019 10.00AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong  for Proshare WebTV

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC chaired by the Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo,SAN has been the driver of the “Ease of Doing Business” reforms in Nigeria has been working assiduously to implement reforms across the nation, that will position it as a leading player in the “ Global Doing Business Index”.


Since its inception in 2016, PEBEC has embraced collaboration with stakeholders especially in the private sector and has focused on eleven (11) core areas;

  • Trading Across Borders
  • Starting a Business
  • Solving Insolvency
  • Getting a Credit
  • Getting Electricity
  • Paying Taxes
  • Registering Properties
  • Dealing with Construction Permits
  • Selling to government
  • Entry &  Exit of People
  • Trading within Nigeria


To get further insight into this Proshare WebTV engaged Mr Jude Oboh, the Reform Leader, Trade Cluster, the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat.


The Enabling Business Environment Secretariat is responsible for coordinating the activities of PEBEC.


From the interview, we identified the impact of the Ease of Doing Business reforms as it relates to “Trading Across Borders” in Nigeria.

Improving Trading Processes (Import and Export)

In the area of improving the trading processes covering the import and export businesses in Nigeria, Mr Jude Oboh of EBES said some of the key reforms carried out by the Reform leader, highlighted the following;


  • The opening up of Form M to improve the import processes in the country
  • Opening up the Letter of Credit to enhance trading
  • Ensuring import processes are done electronically
  • Reduction of the number of days for processing import documents from 14 to 8
  • Reduction of the number of days for processing export documents from 10 to 7
  • The Digitization of Pre-Shipment Inspection Processes required for Exports
  • The Trade Cluster group of EBES has worked with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that within 24hrs, Form M required for Imports are issued.
  • The Trade Cluster group of EBES has worked with related agencies  on improving the pre-shipment exercises for exports
  • The Trade Cluster group also worked with the Ministry of Finance to ensure the Certificates for Capital Importation, CCI are issued within 48 hours.

Cargo Arrivals at the Ports

  • Cargo: The Trade Cluster Group working with the Nigeria Customs Service, to ensure the PAAR(Pre-Arrival Assessment Report)  is issued within a day, from the 7 days, the request is made for information documentation.

  • A major landmark reform from the EBES reforms according to Mr Oboh, is the achievement of a 24-hour operation for the Ports in Nigeria, beginning with the Apapa Ports.

  • To enable the issues of clearance of cargoes at the ports, the TCG has reformed the process for Shipping lines to transmit their manifest a week before arrival.
  • A mandatory transmission and issuance of rotation number to enable quick clearance of cargoes on arrival.

  • Through the reforms, the Nigerian Customs Service has developed a platform to drive automation of its service, which allows people to pay their duties from the comfort of their homes.

  • With the EBES reforms, the Multiple cargo inspection has been eliminated and now there is a Joint-Cargo Inspection team led by the Customs Service with other agencies, to drive efficiency and create an enabling environment for clearance of cargoes at the ports


The Trade Cluster Group of the Enabling Business Enabling Secretariat has been working on the soft infrastructure of processes, policies and systems to create an enabling environment in Nigeria. 

Recently the opening up of Apapa wharf road to ease the gridlock from the port, is an attestation to the reforms carried out by the Trade Cluster Group in EBES.

Omnibus Bill- Addressing Complaints

When asked about the proposed Omnibus bill which is being pushed by the EBES, with a view prompt resolution of complaints Mr Oboh said the legal team in the secretariat is carrying out a comprehensive work, gaining the feedback and complaints of stakeholders to ensure a robust framework that addresses issues in the business environment.

Sustainability of PEBEC

A major question for the remarkable work carried out so far by PEBEC  is its sustainability, barring any change in government courtesy the 2019 general elections.


Mr Oboh in his response  said the PEBEC reforms are driven by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.


He also noted that the Executive Order O1 issued by then Acting President Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN is pushing for transparency in the business environment.


Under the Executive Order MDAs are mandated to update their websites with the services they provide and the timelines.


Also, the MDAs send a monthly report to the Head Of Service , Servicom and EBES office on service delivery


Next Level Plans of EBES Trading Cluster Group

Speaking on the next level  for the activities of the Trading Cluster Group of EBES, Mr Jude Oboh identified three areas that will be top priority;

  • Digital NXP Form: Which will help in the effective processing of the activities of Exporters, the Reform leader said the NXP form will help to digitize the process.
  • Developing Call Up Systems: The “Call Up Systems” is to be developed to achieve effective monitoring of trucks moving in and out of the ports.
  • Develop a National Trading Platform: When fully developed and launched it will improve the trading process in the country.


Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

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