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Customs partners UN-Habitat to tackle smuggling in Nigeria

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The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has reiterated his commitment to combat economic saboteurs who engage in the illegitimate business of smuggling in Nigeria. This pledge was renewed during a meeting with a delegation from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, led by Dr. Raymond Edoh, which took place at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

The Acting Comptroller-General expressed the Nigeria Customs Service’s dedication to taking all necessary actions to thwart the activities of those involved in smuggling. He affirmed that his administration would leave no stone unturned in its efforts to suppress this unlawful trade.

Addressing the UN-Habitat delegation, the Acting Comptroller-General stated, “On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will provide you with all the support you may require to carry out this mission.” He went on to announce the assignment of one of the Deputy Comptroller-Generals, Abba Kura, to closely collaborate with UN-Habitat on this endeavor.

The Acting Comptroller-General commended the UN-Habitat delegation for their effort in reaching out to the Nigeria Customs Service and shared that the service had already begun to witness positive results in curbing smuggling activities.

Furthermore, he welcomed Dr. Raymond’s proposal to offer capacity-building programs to enhance the digital literacy skills of customs officers and staff. He mentioned that the Nigeria Customs Service had initiated the integration of technology into its operations and introduced relevant courses for its personnel.

The Acting Comptroller-General emphasized the significance of digital skills in advancing trade facilitation and affirmed the service’s dedication to enhancing proficiency in combating smuggling through technological means.

In his response, Dr. Raymond Edoh, the Director of UN-Habitat, expressed his appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for entrusting the leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service to the Acting Comptroller-General. He described the acting CGC as a capable and knowledgeable customs officer who understands the intricacies of the role.

Dr. Raymond and his delegation’s visit to the Customs Headquarters aimed to express their interest in collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service. He commended the service for acting as a “gatekeeper” for the nation, safeguarding citizens against border threats. He stressed that UN-Habitat would work closely with the Nigeria Customs Service to combat the smuggling of illicit goods and provide training in digital literacy skills and certification for Customs officers and staff.

UN-Habitat, as a United Nations entity, is responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into actionable strategies to create sustainable cities and promote viable urban development and adequate shelter for all. This collaborative effort between UN-Habitat and the Nigeria Customs Service signifies a shared commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, paving the way for a more prosperous future.

The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs expressed his satisfaction with this collaboration and reaffirmed the service’s commitment to working with partners to achieve its objectives.

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