Customs CG Says Operational Processes In Sync With AfCFTA
...Gets NIIA Fellowship Conferment
BY FUNMI ALUKO
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has said that the Nigeria Customs evolution of embracing paperless processes, fostering trade facilitation, fortifying capabilities for Rules of Origin (ROO), Implementation of Advance Ruling, Authorised Economic Operators (AEO), and engaging with the business community, all harmonize with the continental melody of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The CGC, who was a Distinguished Lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, on Thursday, 16th November 2023, delivered a lecture titled, “Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Development: Reforming and Positioning the Customs Service for the African Continental Free Trade and Other Emerging Challenges.”
CGC Adeniyi stated that while the mandate to generate revenue for the government remains paramount, the evolving landscape demands equal attention to trade facilitation.
He said, “Recognizing the multifaceted role of the NCS, it becomes imperative to manage expectations regarding revenue generation. Striking a balance between facilitating trade and meeting revenue targets requires a nuanced approach.
“This involves making informed trade-offs that translate into fostering sustainable economic development, particularly for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. The NCS must navigate these intricacies adeptly to not only meet fiscal objectives but also contribute significantly to the growth and resilience of Nigeria’s economic landscape”, he enthused.
The CGC noted that there is a pressing need to put Africans at the heart of Customs Operations, stressing that the inadequacy of transparent communication channels has contributed to misunderstandings and inefficiencies in trade operations, posing challenges for both customs and the business community.
“A transformative recommendation is to establish regular consultation platforms that prioritize transparent communication channels for constructive feedback from stakeholders.
“This proactive engagement strategy aims to dismantle historical barriers, ensuring that the customs operations are not only efficient but also reflective of the needs and perspectives of the diverse African business community”, he added.
The Customs boss was later conferred with the Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs by the Director General of the Institute, Professor Eghosa Osaghae.