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Nigeria Customs At 2023 WCO Conference, Vietnam

…Speaks On Effective Integration of Technology

BY EGUONO ODJEGBA

The Nigeria Customs Service and a development partner, Trade Modernization Project participated in the 2023 World Customs Organization (WCO) Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Hanoi, from 10th to 12th October 2023.

Customs Spokesman, Abdullahi Maiwada in a statement said the NCS delegation which was led by the Acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has twelve delegates from the Nigeria Customs Service, including management and staff of the trade modernization project, which represented the private sector.

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According to Maiwada, while presentations in the performances showing the dynamic economy of Vietnam set the tone for the event, Adeniyi, he disclosed spoke on the effective integration of technology, even as he informed the global audience that customs trade in Nigeria is currently driven on technology.

The statement reads:  “Welcoming participants at the conference, the Secretary General of the WCO, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, highlighted the critical role of technology in supporting Customs Administrations around the globe.

“Speaking at the conference, the Acting CGC emphasized the significance of the WCO Technology Conference, which has been a pivotal event for over a decade, providing a platform for customs administrations, partner companies, sponsors, technology firms, and more to collaborate and exchange insights on the effective integration of technology in customs operations.”

According to Maiwada, the CGC highlighted that this year’s edition continued the tradition of exposing participants to advanced technological solutions for addressing complex customs challenges and expressed satisfaction with the content of the conference.

“We’ve learned a lot, seeing the deployment of artificial intelligence, machine learning, non-intrusive technology, and various data analytics to analyze customs issues and provide solutions.”

The customs spokesman says Adeniyi believes that adopting these technological solutions will be a game-changer for Nigeria, improving trade facilitation and revenue generation. He expressed his readiness to initiate processes for their adoption in Nigeria.

“Worthy of note at the conference were the breakout sessions that delved into contemporary challenges and innovative solutions in diverse areas, especially gender equality, of which Chief Superintendent of Customs Oluwabukola Omoniyi, a delegate from Nigeria was part of the discussants.

“The Assistant Comptroller-General in charge of ICT/Modernization, ACG Kikelomo Adeola, also attended the conference and shared her commitment to embracing the e-commerce process. She emphasized the automation and AI-driven approach to improving customs operations.

“Jummai Umar Ajijola, the Managing Director of the Trade Modernization Project, emphasized the strong partnership between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Trade Modernization Project, highlighting their alignment to ensure the end-to-end automation of Nigeria Customs Service processes and procedures.”

The conference’s theme, “Embracing the Digital Age: Leveraging Technology, Fostering Innovation, and Nurturing the Next Generation of Customs Professionals,” underscored the importance of technology in customs operations and the continuous development of customs professionals.

The statement further disclosed that during his vote of thanks to wrap up the end of the conference, the WCO Secretary General, ably represented by Hans Pieters, Head of Administration and Personnel WCO, announced that the 2024 edition of the WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition would be hosted by Africa in Cairo, Egypt.

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