WCO Secretary, Mikuriya visits Apapa Customs

Secretary General of World Customs Organization (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya has pledged to support the ongoing modernization process of the Nigeria Customs Service with a view to ensuring that its operations are in tandem with the policies of the WCO.

Mikuriya who led a team of other members of the WCO made the pledge yesterday when he visited the Apapa Area command at the invitation of the customs high command.

The secretary general who met with stakeholders said the purpose of his visit to Nigeria is not only to discuss with the NCS on how to increase competitiveness among the ports but also on the need to further enhance its border protection procedures.

“We are living in a global supply chain, and there is a need to participate in the global economy. What is important is to ensure connectivity and as I always say customs should be the agent for connectivity and of course in close partnership with the business”,

“The NCS is under transformation and it is not on the taking of destination inspection but adopting a modern customs operation model that WCO recommends. I want to hear the views of the stakeholders and their wish for customs to improve on trade facilitation is very impressive. What the stakeholders recommend is actually why I’m here to discuss with the NCS to further improve the transformation and customs reforms process. I am very positive about this movement and this stakeholders meeting has been a good opportunity for both customs and stakeholders to move forward for a common goal in the future”, he said.

He said one the principle of WCO is for customs to enhance its capability hence customs should be in close partnership with its stakeholders.

This according to him can only be achieved through effective communication and dialogue.

On the importation of hazardous goods into the country, Mikuriya outlined the role played by WCO in ensuring that dangerous goods do not gain access into country of destination by creating awareness with all relevant agencies.

“What WCO does in preventing hazardous goods is awareness raising and also coordinate operations involving country of origin and destination countries and try to communicate to each other about suspicious containers on how they are moving” he said

Speaking earlier, representative of the Comptroller General, Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Strategic Research and Policy, Akinade Adewuyi said it is imperative that every customs organization work in tandem with the policies of the WCO one of which he said is partnering with relevant stakeholders to facilitate trade and enhance revenue generation.

While expressing appreciation for the visit of the secretary general, the CGC affirmed his interest in supporting the cooperation between the NCS and WCO. “

“We have invited the secretary general to Nigeria because it is one of the recommendations of the WCO that customs administration should partner with relevant agencies of government and stakeholders so that we could collaborate and there will be a synergy between all of us in order to facilitate legitimate trade”

“It is WCO recommendation that we should build capacity, get appropriate scheme, so that we could get efficient service delivery. We thanked his Excellency for allowing the NCS to take over the job of destination Inspection at the expiration of the tenure of the service providers. Without the support of the management and diligent officers who are hardworking we couldn’t have achieved the level of achievement that we have today”, he said.