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Monday, June 17, 2024

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Customs To Facilitate More Trade Through AfCFTA, AGOA – Customs Boss

The Nigeria Customs Service NCS is committed to growing the nation’s economy through enhanced trade facilitation tools, by leveraging on platforms and policies which include the  African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the US government-backed African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), according to MaritimeFirst report. 

The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi reiterated this while speaking in Lagos, at the Science of Trade (SOT) Conference organised by Ascend Studios Foundation in partnership with the US Consulate and other groups.

 Adeniyi was represented on the occasion, by the Customs Area Controller for Apapa Port, Comptroller Babatunde Olomu.

“The NCS is already in the process of perfecting trade procedures within the Customs zone”, Adeniyi said, noting that the Service is equally collaborating with the Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) of the European Union (EU) for efficient export monitoring and trade facilitation

He added that as part of the NCS outreach programme, the service is equally working with other agencies of the Nigerian government to maximize the opportunities in trade and reduce the incidence of Nigerian goods being returned from countries of destination

For traders willing to participate in AGOA, the CGC disclosed that efforts were on, for the establishment of a one-stop-shop export seat for export documentation so that it will reduce the time taken for Nigerian exporters to get their goods out of our ports.

According to him, programmes like the Time Release Studies, which we are targeting towards importing of goods and how much time it takes for businessmen to clear their goods in the port are geared towards enhancing Customs efficiency in Nigeria in line with global best practices. 

The exercise, according to him is directed at  having a scientific measure of how long and how much it costs our businessmen to export their products through NCS control with a view to identifying  bureaucratic  procedures, or laws that are creating delays so that people compliant traders can  get their cargoes off the ports, border stations and airports in good time

He listed continuous training and retraining of different cadres of customs officers, regular interface with various stakeholders and sustained improvement on technological capacity as part of efforts embarked upon since his assumption of office. 

While participating as a panellist during an interactive session, Comptroller Olomu gave a detailed analysis of the trade facilitation benefits of the NCS Act 2023 and the ease of doing business advantages captured in the new customs law. 

While expatiating on the contribution of the CAC Apapa as a panellist, the Apapa Area Command Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Usman noted that Comptroller Olomu specially urged participants comprising entrepreneurs, diplomats and other members of the trading community to keep themselves abreast with the provisions of government import and export prohibition lists.

He specifically mentioned that the Apapa Port Command is evolving a reliable system to process non-intrusive inspection of cargoes that meets World Customs Organisation (WCO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) standards.

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