Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to organise an interactive session where some of the grey areas in its operations in the zone would be addressed as part of effort to bridge the communication gap between the Service and the Southeast traders.
Okorocha spoke yesterday when the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali visited him at the Government House in Owerri.
He noted that most of the policies and actions of the agency were often misinterpreted as punishment due to poor communication.
He added that an interactive session between the agency’s leadership and governors, traders and businessmen, has become necessary.
“Eighty per cent of the trade partners of Customs come from the Southeast. So, I suggest a forum of interaction between the agency, the governors, traders and businessmen, to address certain issues, including the policies and actions of the Nigeria Customs Service, as they affect the traders and businessmen.
“The International Cargo Airport is good news to the people. I enjoin the Comptroller-General to facilitate the speedy take-off of the project by sending Airport Customs comptroller once the need arises.
“There is a need for the country to diversify the economy as the era of oil boom seems to be over, especially when most nations of the world have alternatives to oil.”
Ali agreed that an interactive session has become imperative to build a cordial working relationship. He said a summit will be organised next year where stakeholders will meet and interact on the possible ways to boost trade and commerce in the zone.
“One of the functions of the Customs is trade facilitation, interacting with the traders, educating them and developing a strong synergy between the Service and its trade partners. And since its major trade partners are from the Southeast, my administration will develop a mechanism where there would be regular interactions to discuss issues of mutual benefits and also educate partners on the various laws of Customs and its modus operandi,” Ali said.
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