BY FUNMI ALUKO
The Chairman of Arewa Economic Forum (AEF), Ibrahim Shehu Dandakata, has said the Acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has solid support for the Forum, considering his notable commitment to enhance border security and trade facilitation in the North.
Dandakata made this known on Tuesday, 26 September 2023, shortly after they met with the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja — emphasizing that “his commitment to implement policies that will improve the region is one hundred percent absolute.”
According to a statement by the Spokesman of the Customs Service, Abdullahi Maiwada, AREWA noted that the region’s economic activities has gained traction since the incoming of the present customs leadership, adding that it is only natural to want to support such a vibrant leadership for continuity and expansion.
The Chairman, who eulogized the Former Comptroller-General of Customs, Late Abdullahi Inde Dikko, for bringing numerous dividends to the region, expressed optimism that the current administration of Ag. CGC Adewale Adeniyi will exceed what the previous CGCs have done, “we raised an issue, and Mr Adeniyi quickly swung into action on the matter, and we had a great response.” he added.
He said, “We are talking about fiscal policies and entrenchment of a regime that will create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Northern Nigeria, most especially in the agricultural sector; therefore, what CGC Adeniyi is doing will be sustainable and far-reaching.”
During the meeting at the CGC’s office, the Chairman appreciated the Ag. CGC for taking progressive steps to make things better in the North, highlighting that “Nigeria now has a very responsive government, and AEF is proud to have a very responsive CGC.”
According to him, the idea behind visiting the Ag. CGC was to bring new ideas that will help his administration to succeed, adding that the Forum is looking forward to witnessing the enhancement of cross-border trade in Ilela, considering its magnitude in boosting the region’s economy.
He, however, pleaded with the Ag. CGC to look into the conditions of Inland Dry Ports in the North, which, according to him, “are essential in carrying out businesses in the region – and as it stands, they’re not functioning.”
The Chairman also seized the opportunity to invite the Ag. CGC for an Economic Summit slated to take place before the end of the year, assuring that the summit will revolve around creating awareness for people to invest in the North.
Responding, the Ag. Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, says his administration is up and doing to enhance trade in the North, considering its importance in boosting Nigeria’s economy and prosperity.
The Ag. CGC, who spoke about the current situation in the Niger Republic and how it affects trade in Nigeria, also said that “considering the significance of trade in Northern Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service finds it interesting to engage in trade talks, but can be achieved when there’s absolute peace in the area.”
He assured the entourage of Customs’ commitment to look into the matter of Inland Ports and consult the Federal Government to fast-track the process, adding that “Customs is willing to support the situation.”
As regards the Forum’s forthcoming Summit, the Ag. CGC said that NCS will watch out for the Economic Summit to attend, adding that “there’s so much economic potential in the North, which, if revamped, will contribute to the development of the country’s economy.”