The Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Ministry of Transportation, on Thursday, engaged in a discussion concerning the importance of devising strategies to implement policies that would enhance trade facilitation and other related matters.
During the meeting held at Customs Headquarters in Abuja, the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, expressed gratitude to the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transportation for extending their congratulations on his recent appointment.
He also assured them that his Management team remained committed to maintaining mutual respect and cooperation in achieving a shared objective.
CGC Adewale said that “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.”
More also, he emphasized the advantages of trade facilitation in terms of decreasing business expenses and time spent at ports.
He further stated that these measures would enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the country’s ports by fostering productive cooperation between the Nigeria Customs Service management and other relevant stakeholders engaged in port operations.
“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.” CGC Bashir Adewale said.
The Comptroller-General, in a discussion with his entourage, expressed his master plans for the Service and emphasized his dedication to prioritizing the interests of the trade and private sectors.
He also unveiled his intention to propose innovative solutions that would effectively tackle crucial issues across borders.
He said “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 stated that the Service will directly confront the challenge of relieving congestion at ports, emphasizing that their primary focus will be to tackle the issue and implement effective measures to address it with great dedication.
He also discussed the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, which now prohibits traders from keeping cargo and containers at the ports for extended periods.
He emphasized that in accordance with the law, the Service will either facilitate the auction or destruction of such items, depending on the situation, to deter violators. The Comptroller-General urged stakeholders to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service in implementing policies that would create sufficient space at the ports.
Earlier, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, congratulated the Comptroller-General on his recent appointment as Customs CG by President Bola Ahmad Tinubu.
As the leader of the ministry representatives, Dr. Ajani also informed CGC Adeniyi about their ministry’s efforts to alleviate congestion at the ports, which were overwhelmed with overtime cargo.
She mentioned the successful formation of a robust committee comprising members from the Nigeria Customs Service, Transport Ministry, and its agencies.
The Permanent Secretary also assured the CGC that the overtime cargo disposal committee is diligently working to implement policies that will ease congestion at the country’s four major ports.
She added, “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.”