The Acting Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR today organized a two-day sensitization workshop on the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023 for the members of the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in order to get them accustomed to the new law especially in carrying out their statutory responsibilities. The Workshop which took place in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
In his opening remarks, the Customs Boss disclosed that “the Nigeria Customs Service is one of the very important agencies of the Federal Government saddled with the enormous responsibility of administering, managing and enforcing the provision of the defunct Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004 (CEMA).
This CEMA was enacted 63 years ago and had remained in operation since then without any significant amendment notwithstanding the expansion in government, growth in population and over dynamic progress and challenges in the economy. Consequent upon this, several attempts were made in the past to cause amendments or the repeal of CEMA to no avail”.
“The efforts were necessary because the provisions of CEMA had become obsolete and could no longer adequately meet the contemporary fiscal policies of the Government and the mandate of the Service. This situation undoubtedly propelled the National Assembly through a private member Bill to initiate the repeal and enactment of a new Nigeria Customs Service Bill which was passed by the Parliament and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari” he stated.
The Customs CG also recognized members of the 9th National Assembly for the expeditious consideration and passage of the bill, the Ministries of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, and the Attorney General of the Federation, for the key role they played in the process and the sterling contribution of some distinguished personalities involved in actualizing the new Customs Act.
“I want to thank key stakeholders who played prominent role to get us to where we are today notable among them is my predecessor Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali”.
“It is my belief that the new law has addressed some of the defeats in the CEMA and introduced innovative solutions in the implementation of the Act. Under this new Legal regime, the Service has been statutorily empowered to administer and enforce the provisions of the Act, collect and account for revenue from Customs and Excise among others, promote trade facilitation, prevent smuggling activities and carryout border enforcement, do such other things as are necessary for or incidental to the performance of the function and duties of the Service under the Act” he concluded.
While delivering his speech, Rt. Hon. Leke Abejide, the 9th Assembly Chairman, Committee On Customs & Excise at the House Of Representatives disclosed that he is a fulfilled man seeing a career officer within the Nigeria Customs Service appointed as Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, courtesy of the new Nigeria Customs Act, 2023.
According to him, “When I assumed the position of Chairman, House Committee on Customs & Excise, I took it upon myself to surmount the obstacles that had made previous government failed to get the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (CEMA) repealed and re-enacted which with God’s support, the Leadership of the 9th National Assembly, especially my boss, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Rt. Hon. Idris Wase, the Customs Committee Members and indeed former Management of the Nigeria Customs Service led by Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd)
“This Act we are all celebrating today did not come that easy as the Bill was declined assent three (3) times. It got to a point it became practically the only project I was doing as I was having meetings in the Ministry of Justice while also talking with the Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Customs Service. Were it not for perseverance and dedication on my part I would have given up same way previous administrations did, but all glory to God, it is a reality today”.
Also speaking, Rt. Hon. Abejide opined that “today, every Customs Officer is assured that his labour is not going to be truncated at the peak of his career neither is he going to be denied the fruit of long, faithful and dedicated service to his/hermother land. The provisions of Section 14 (1) of the New Act is very instructive on professionalism, by providing appointment of a career officer from the Service to be head of management of the Service”.
“I want to congratulate the newly appointed Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, for being the first partaker of this career reform exercise. I am persuaded that with your track records of selfless service to this institution, your statutory duty of overseeing the task of reforms injected into this Act would be seamlessly achieved” he concluded.
He however admonished men of the Nigeria Customs Service in general that this Act has made provisions for reward motivational scheme for exceptional and meritorious services rendered by any officer in relation to any Customs or Excise matter.
“This may come by special promotion, letter of commendation or cash reward. So your labour in executing this law optimally shall not be in vain. This new legislation will speed up the growth of the Nigerian economy, enhance investor confidence, boost the morale of customs officers nationwide, improve stakeholder confidence and improve the transparency of Nigerian business climate in the global market place” he said.