Excitement as Customs assumes full responsibility for DI
• Expects initial hitches
Dikko said officers and men of the NCS have been undergoing training over the years in preparation for the takeover and are “fully prepared to assume this important responsibility.”
“As this regime takes off, the Service will be charged with the responsibility of managing all areas of the inspection processes. These areas include: Processing of the electronic Form M, issuance of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to replace the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) formally issued by the Service Providers, control of scanning equipment and operations in all the scanning sites in Nigeria,” he said.
The NCS boss also stated that the service will be responsible for the deployment of a robust risk management system organically developed by Nigeria Customs Service in consultation with partner agencies.
In an address he read to journalists at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, Dikko said that a state of the art ruling centre has been put in place for issuance of PAAR in Abuja.
The ruling centre, according to him, has the following features: world class data centre with disaster recovery plan, robust internet connectivity with backup and a dedicated power supply backed up with 2 units of 1000 KVA generators and 350 trained officers working round the clock in 3 shifts.
He said: “Today, the trade information portal, www.nigeriatradehub.gov.ng has proven to be a platform that puts information at the disposal of all actors in the trade chain. We therefore appeal for your understanding and cooperation as the Service takes over the destination inspection process especially in the area of compliance with the trade regulations.
“This new regime we are starting today promises better management of our revenue generation, operations, enhanced trade facilitation and better collaboration with other agencies of Government to enhance national security.”
He further appealed for the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders even as he noted that “no change ever comes without some pains.”
“As we take over these processes, we will anticipate some hiccups at the beginning before we can fully stabilize. Some of these may arise from the sheer volumes of declarations. However, as a Service, we have taken measures to address these risks and manage them to the advantage of our stakeholders. We are however pleading for the understanding of all Nigerians that whatever hiccup faced at the initial stage should not create anxieties.
“We have established functional Help Desks in Customs headquarters and all the Area Commands manned by properly trained officers to handle cases of complaints that may arise at any level of the clearance process,” he said.
Dikko expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and officers and men of the NCS for their steadfast support “as we prepare to take this big step forward.”
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