The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has proposed a collaborative effort between the service and the maritime industry to unlock the vast potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA). Comptroller General Adewale Adeniyi made this recommendation during the 43rd Annual Council Meeting and 18th Roundtable of Managing Directors/Exhibition of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) in Lagos on Monday, November 6, 2023.
Adeniyi highlighted that the objectives of AfCFTA offer a beacon of hope for Africa’s economic transformation, aligning with the eight-point agenda championed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. This agenda aims 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.
The CGC revealed that Customs has proactively aligned its activities with aspirations related to trade facilitation and ports. Initiatives include transforming Nigeria into Africa’s most efficient trading nation, addressing 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.
Adeniyi emphasized the necessity for Customs and the maritime industry to collaborate for the success of AfCFTA. He stated, “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.” According to him, the success of AfCFTA is deeply intertwined with the maritime industry’s vital role in customs operations and the realization of AfCFTA’s objectives.