Jonathan: Customs reforms will enhance regional trade

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said the ongoing reforms in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will enhance regional and continental trade as well as boost security in the country.

He equally said the reforms would curtail the proliferation of illegal small arms and light weapons.

Jonathan spoke at an audience with the visiting Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya.

According to the president, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the reforms were necessitated by the need to re-define the core values and operations of the service.

The president told Mikuriya that the NCS was being progressively modernised and given the additional role of trade facilitation through the reforms.

“I started out my career in the Nigeria Customs Service. Within that period and now, there have been significant changes. The role of the Customs Service as a trade facilitator is becoming more apparent.

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“We promise you that the Nigerian government will continue to support reforms in the Customs. If we do things well, others will emulate us in the region,” Jonathan said.

He congratulated the secretary general on his re-election to lead the global body, noting that it must have been due to his strong leadership skills.

Mikuriya told the president that he had toured ports in Lagos and the Nigeria Customs College, where he said well motivated officers showed a readiness to learn and deploy new skills in their operations.

He equally disclosed that he also met with the business community in Lagos, and they testified to the positive impact of ongoing reforms in the Customs Service.

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