The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has said that the service’s evolution of embracing paperless processes, fostering trade facilitation, fortifying capabilities for rules of origin, implementation of advance ruling, authorised economic operators (AEO), and engaging with the business community, all harmonise with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Adeniyi said this Thursday when he spoke at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos.
Delivering a lecture titled, “Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Development: Reforming and Positioning the Customs Service for the African Continental Free Trade and Other Emerging Challenges”, the Customs chief said while the mandate to generate revenue for the government remains paramount, the evolving landscape demands equal attention to trade facilitation.
“Recognising the multifaceted role of the NCS, it becomes imperative to manage expectations regarding revenue generation. Striking a balance between facilitating trade and meeting revenue targets requires a nuanced approach.
“This involves making informed trade-offs that translate into fostering sustainable economic development, particularly for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. The NCS must navigate these intricacies adeptly to not only meet fiscal objectives but also contribute significantly to the growth and resilience of Nigeria’s economic landscape,” he said.
Adeniyi noted that there is a pressing need to put Africans at the heart of customs operations, stressing that the inadequacy of transparent communication channels has contributed to misunderstandings and inefficiencies in trade
operations, posing challenges for both customs and the business community.
“A transformative recommendation is to establish regular consultation platforms that prioritise transparent communication channels for constructive feedback from stakeholders.
“This proactive engagement strategy aims to dismantle historical barriers, ensuring that the customs operations are not only efficient but also reflective of the needs and perspectives of the diverse African business community,” he added.
After the lecture, the Customs Comptroller General was conferred with the Fellowship of the NIIA by the Director General of the institute, Professor Eghosa Osaghae.