The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday flagged off its awareness programme on the use of the new e-clearance system; the Pre -Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR); at the Apapa Area Command.
It was learnt that the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi, has given marching orders to his officers to ensure the awareness campaign permeates all area commands and border units across the country.
This follows complaints by stakeholders including the importing public that the Service has not adequately enlightened them on the workings of PAAR.
Speaking yesterday at the commencement of the sensitization campaign held at Apapa and facilitated by a team of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts from the Customs headquarters in Abuja, Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Charles Edike, said the continuous enlightenment is to achieve a seamless transition period when the service eventually takes over the destination inspection regime.
“This is all together a new system with the single window, the PAAR, the trade hub and the e- manifest are new innovations that the CGC and his team has developed and as soon as government gives the nod and when these things begins to flow out, errors should not be seen because once errors are made, it will affect the whole system. It means time wasted, money wasted and the international community are watching, Nigerians are also watching. So for these reason we have called you here today,” he said.
On his part, Head of the ICT unit, Deputy Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, while highlighting the benefits of the new clearance system said PAAR will be issued before the arrival of cargo to facilitate trade at the nation’s ports. According to him, under the PAAR platform which is expected to commence next month, the service will release cargoes within six hours adding that no consignments will stay longer than necessary at the ports if all requirements are met by the importer.
“Two things we need from you so that we will give you that which you need is compliance and honesty.
These are two important things for success of every trade change”, he said.
The two- day sensitization campaign which started yesterday with a session for stakeholders continues today with officers.
The sensitization campaign also included presentations on the use of the single window, the Nigeria trade hub portal among others.