By Joshua Okoria
The Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Ministry of Transportation have on Thursday discussed the need to strategise on implementing policies that will pave the way to boosting trade facilitation amongst many others.
Speaking during the meeting held at Customs Headquarters Abuja, Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, appreciated the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transportation for congratulating him on his recent appointment and also assured them of his Management’s continued resolve to respect their mutuality in accomplishing a common goal.
CGC Adewale stressed thus “I have always believed that Customs administration should act as a genuine agent for trade facilitation. This is what I have been doing all over my career.”
He also highlighted the benefits of trade facilitation as to reduce the cost and time of doing business at the ports, adding that the measures will double the efficiency and competitiveness of ports in the country, through constructive collaboration between the management of Nigeria Customs Service and stakeholders that are involved in similar operations at the ports.
He said “It is clear that the Nigerian law has authorized Customs Service to synergize with security institutions and other agencies of government as a form collaboration to yield positive results to carry out the business of facilitating trade in the country.”
The Customs boss who intimated the entourage of his master plans for the Service, revealed his commitment to prioritize the interest of trade and private sectors and propose innovative solutions that will address some key issues across the borders.
“I want to assure you that the Nigeria Customs Service has a new spirit now that will enable it to live up to its ability as enshrined in the constitution.” He said.
According to him, the Service will also face the plan of decongesting ports head-on, adding that “the major issue involved in this case will be the problem of congestion at our ports, and we are going to implement measures that will address this matter diligently.”
He also talked about the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 which now prohibits traders from stacking cargo and containers at the ports for a long time, stressing that the Service will according to the law facilitate the auction or destroy such items as the case may be to serve as a deterrent to defiers.
The Comptroller-General however urged the stakeholders to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to implement the policies that create sufficient space at the ports.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, felicitated with the Comptroller-General over his recent appointment as Customs CG by President Bola Ahmad Tinubu GCFR.
Dr. Ajani who was the leader of the representatives of the Transport Ministry, also briefed CGC Adeniyi of their ministry’s efforts in the area of decongesting ports, which according to her were over-spilled with overtime cargo.
She told him that they have succeeded in constituting a powerful committee of members from the Nigeria Customs Service, Transport Ministry and its Agencies.
The Permanent Secretary also assured the CGC that overtime cargo disposal committee is working assiduously to implement policies that will decongest the four major ports in the country, adding that “we are working in different dimensions but the result will be prodigious, after launching sensitization exercise to stakeholders and members of the ports community about the process.” She added.