The Nigeria Customs Service says it is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to strategise and implement policies that will boost trade facilitation.
The Ag. Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, said this in Abuja on Thursday when he hosted a team from the Federal Ministry of Transport led by its Permanent Secretary, Dr Magdalene Ajani.
Adeniyi noted that the service would make use of the instrumentality of its Customs and Excise Management Act 2023 as amended in ensuring the disposal of overtime cargoes from the ports.
He said, “I have always believed that Customs administration should act as a genuine agent for trade facilitation.”
The Customs boss also highlighted the benefits of trade facilitation as the reduction of cost and time of doing business at the ports.
He added that the NCS would put in place measures that double the efficiency and competitiveness of ports in the country through constructive collaboration between its management and stakeholders that are involved in similar operations at the ports.
“It is clear that the Nigerian law has authorised Customs Service to synergise with security institutions and other agencies of government as a form of collaboration to yield positive results to carry out the business of facilitating trade in the country,” Adeniyi said.
The comptroller-general also stated his commitment to prioritising the interest of trade and private sectors.
He added that he would initiate innovative solutions that would address some key issues across borders.
“I want to assure you that the NCS has a new spirit now that will enable it to live up to its ability as enshrined in the constitution,” he said.
According to him, the service would also fully implement plans to decongest ports.
“The major issue involved in this case will be the problem of congestion at our ports, and we are going to implement measures that will address this matter diligently,” he asserted.
He said that the NCS Act 2023 currently prohibits traders from stacking cargo and containers at the ports for a long time.
Adeniyi stressed that the service would facilitate the auction or destroy such items as the case may be to serve as a deterrent to defiers.
He, therefore, urged the stakeholders to collaborate with the service to implement policies that would create sufficient space at the ports.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Dr Magdalene Ajani, felicitated the comptroller-general over his appointment as the Customs boss.
She also briefed Adeniyi on their ministry’s efforts in decongesting the ports, which according to her were over-spilled with overtime cargo.
According to her, the ministry has succeeded in constituting a committee, whose members were drawn from the Nigeria Customs Service, the transport ministry and its agencies.
Ajani also assured the CGC that the overtime cargo disposal committee was working assiduously to implement policies that would decongest the four major ports in the country.
“We are working in different dimensions but the result will be prodigious, after launching a sensitisation exercise to stakeholders and members of the ports community about the process,” she averred.