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Customs begins full automation next week

…as service sets for AfCFTA

Chidi Ogbuokiri

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)Thursday disclosed that all is set for the launching of e-Customs operation next week which has capacity to improve efficiency of cargo and raise government revenue.

This came as the Service has said that it has commenced training of personnel ahead of the take-off of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on January 1, 2021.

According to NCS,  e-Customs would also enhance and improve operational methodologies in the agency when it becomes operational.

The National Public Relations Officer of NCS, Joseph Attah, a deputy comptroller of Customs, said this at the training workshop organised by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in Lagos.

Attah who was represented at the training by Uche Ejesieme, a Superintendent of Customs and Image Maker of the Tin Can Island Command (TCIP) Command of Nigeria Customs Service, added that the role of the Service in the blue economy project would have to do with its initiative towards improving Customs processes and procedures.

“Now the big news, as all of us are aware, is that Customs is going fully electronic and when we go electronic it simply means that all our transaction and processes will go electronic.

“All internal memo and every of our transaction will go electronic. This is new trend that will start next week and officers and men will go through training and retraining for the new order.”

He said this while stating the roles of the Nigeria Customs Service in the blue economy project.

Attah said: “Our role in the blue economy will have to do with our initiative towards improving customs processes and procedures e.g. you will recall that our automation process began with ASYCUDA, then transited to ASYCUDA++, then we had ASYCUDA 2.7 version, then NCIS 1 and now NCIS 2.

Now, the Service is working on a more active platform/system that will be launched next week that will have the capacity to promote future increase in cargo throughput using technology.”

He added that some deliberate steps created by the service in dealing with Trade Related Disputes include; creation of the dispute resolution committee at the headquarters and at area command’s, the committee’s are charged with the responsibilities of identifying trade dispute and addressing them expeditiously with minimal delays.

According to him, there is a renewed synergy and collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Service and other critical security and regulatory agencies in seaports, airports and the borders.

He maintained that the initiative has enhanced the speed with which issues are handled without the usual rancour, acrimony and which hitherto was the order of the day.

The marine unit of the Service, he said , has helped to confront smugglers at the waterways, making seizures and decimating their heinous activities.

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