CGC Affirms Nigeria  Customs Transformation  With AfCFTA Objectives 

...Gets NIIA Fellowship Conferment

 By: Bisi Akingbade 

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has said that the Nigeria Customs evolution of embracing paperless processes, fostering trade facilitation, fortifying capabilities for Rules of Origin(ROO), Implementation of Advance Ruling, Authorised Economic Operators (AEO), and engaging with the 
business community, all harmonize with the continental melody of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

The CGC, who was a Distinguished Lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, in Lagos, delivered 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."

 Adeniyi stated that while the mandate to generate revenue for the government remains paramount, the evolving landscape demands equal attention to 
trade facilitation.
In his words, "Recognizing 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 emphasized. 

The CGC 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. 

According to him, "A transformative recommendation is to establish regular consultation platforms that prioritize 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. 

The CGC was later conferred with the Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs by the Director General of the Institute, Professor Eghosa Osaghae.

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