NCS: Recommends Collaboration With Maritime Industry to Unlock AfCFTA Potential

By: Bisi Akingbade 

The Nigeria Customs Service has recommended collaboration between the service and the maritime industry to unlock the immense potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, AfCFTA.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, made this recommendation at the 43rd Annual Council Meeting and 18th Roundtable of Managing Directors/Exhibition of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) on Monday, November 6, 2023, in Lagos.

The CGC stated that the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area present a beacon of hope for Africa's economic transformation, ranging from promoting intra-African trade to sustainable economic growth.

According to him, "These goals resonate profoundly with the eight-point agenda championed by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu."

"An agenda that aspires to ensure food security, end poverty, foster economic growth, create jobs, provide access to capital, ensure security, improve the ease of doing business, uphold the rule of law, and combat corruption," he stated.
The CGC disclosed that Customs has taken proactive steps to align its activities with the aspirations related to trade facilitation and ports.

"Notably, our initiatives include transforming Nigeria into Africa's most efficient trading nation, addressing the long-standing issue of port congestion, and enforcing the Presidential Directive for the 48-hour clearance of goods at seaports in accordance with Executive Order 001.

"Furthermore, we are redefining performance measures for key government agencies to emphasize trade facilitation, implementing the National Single Window trading platform, and launching a comprehensive transformational program to support export development," he added.

The Customs Boss reminded participants of the need for Customs and the maritime industry to work together to ensure the success of AfCFTA.

"It is a powerful reminder that in this era of increased collaboration and interdependence, Customs and the maritime industry must work hand in hand to ensure the overall success of these initiatives," he said.

For him, the success of AfCFTA is deeply intertwined with the maritime industry, which plays a vital role in Customs operations and the realization of AFCFTA's objectives.

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