June 27, 2023

Customs to dismantle obstacles to trade boss


By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

The Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, is set to redirect its efforts towards trade facilitation and dismantling of obstacles to trade in the country.

Giving this indication yesterday in a session with senior Customs officers in Abuja, the newly appointed Acting Comptroller-General (C-G) of Customs, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, stated: “We will prioritize efficiency in service delivery as the bedrock of trade facilitation and revenue generation. No longer shall encumbrances impede trade; we shall dismantle obstacles and foster a new culture of consultations and compliance.”

Mr. Adeniyi said that his administration would be guided by the principles of professionalism, integrity, and the highest ethical standards.

He added, “Over the past eight years, the Nigeria Customs Service has embarked on a journey of transformation, focused on reforms, restructuring, and revenue generation.

“We have witnessed critical adjustments to meet the evolving needs and strategic objectives of our Service. As beneficiaries and ambassadors of these reforms, many of us have played pivotal roles in training, retraining, and mentoring the future generation of Customs officers.

“Our administration is committed to adopting a bottom-up approach, where the needs of our dear nation take precedence over everything else,” he said.

Tech-driven customs

The new Customs boss said that he would run a highly technologically-driven organization, in line with global best practice.

His words, “It is crucial for us to recognize the modern realities and challenges to Customs operations. In today’s interconnected and technologically advanced world, we face emerging threats that require our utmost attention.

“E-commerce, global supply chains, and transnational criminal networks pose challenges to our role as custodians of trade facilitation and enforcement. We must adapt to these changing landscapes, leveraging technology, intelligence-led operations, and effective risk management strategies.

“Collaboration with international partners, law enforcement agencies, and customs administrations of other nations will be vital in combating illicit trade and securing our national interests.”

According to Mr. Adeniyi, NCS witnessed a remarkable achievement with the signing of the new Customs Act and that it marked a pivotal moment in the organisation’s efforts to enhance trade facilitation, streamline procedures, and strengthen enforcement measures.

He said, “The new Customs Act provides us with a robust legal framework that aligns with international best practices, ensuring transparency, efficiency, and compliance in our operations.

“It empowers us to effectively tackle emerging challenges, adapt to evolving trade dynamics, and safeguard our national interests.

“Under this act, we have the opportunity to introduce innovative measures that will further enhance our customs processes, such as the implementation of advanced risk management systems, the integration of cutting-edge technologies, and the simplification of trade procedures.”