The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adewale MFR, has taken a significant step to deepen collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The CGC visited the Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, on Thursday, January 25, 2024, to explore avenues for improving port efficiency and facilitating trade.
Highlighting the ongoing collaborative efforts between the NCS and NPA, the CGC expressed the shared goal of achieving port efficiency. He emphasized the importance of efficient ports in facilitating trade and boosting revenue generation. The Customs Service, in alignment with NPA’s vision, aims to explore initiatives that reduce both time and costs associated with conducting business in ports.
“When our Ports are more efficient, it will translate into better efforts in revenue generation. So anything and everything that will help to reduce the time and the cost it takes to conduct business in our ports are those things that we are going to be exploring in collaboration with NPA,” stated the CGC.
Discussing strategies to streamline cargo clearance processes and avoid delays, the CGC highlighted the deployment of technology as a key component. He emphasized the use of scanners to examine goods, reducing the need for exhaustive physical examinations and enhancing efficiency.
“We are building our risk management. We are expanding fast track; we are going to get into AEO in the first quarter of this year so that more of our companies will not have their containers subjected to a hundred percent examination,” he added.
Mohammed Bello-Koko, the MD of NPA, commended the CGC for his prompt response to issues and collaborative efforts. He acknowledged the Customs Service’s support in improving trade facilitation and reducing the cost of doing business in the Ports. The MD highlighted the successful operation of the export desk and the notable increase in cargo quantity in terms of exports.
On the subject of improving cargo clearance, Bello-Koko stressed the need for collective efforts to ensure 24-hour Port operation. He discussed the importance of customs officers working in shifts, involving shipping lines, terminal operators, security, and all stakeholders, to maintain efficient operations around the clock.
“The CG of Customs has been quite supportive in ensuring that we improve trade facilitation to make the Ports more competitive and also ensure that the cost of doing business in the Ports is reduced,” he stated.
The collaborative discussions between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Ports Authority signify a strategic commitment to enhancing efficiency and competitiveness in Nigeria’s ports.