In a diplomatic convergence that echoed the significance of international collaboration, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adeniyi MFR, orchestrated a distinguished gathering on Tuesday, December 19, 2023. The event, a year-end dinner held at the Management Quarters of the Service in Abuja, welcomed the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassadors from the United States and Germany, and representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), as well as the World Bank.
The pivotal gathering offered a nuanced platform to reflect on the NCS’s activities throughout the year, fostering discussions that revolved around innovative ideas aimed at enhancing operational efficiency.
In his address to the esteemed diplomats, CGC Adeniyi underscored the Customs Service’s unwavering commitment to harnessing cutting-edge technological advancements. Proposing plans for the extensive deployment of scanners, the implementation of data analytics, and an embrace of open-door policies to foster collaboration with stakeholders, the Customs Chief articulated a vision aimed at streamlining trade processes within the nation.
“Now that we have a new government, and I took over in the middle of this year, we have a lot of explanations to make to all these stakeholders,” said CGC Adeniyi. He emphasized the responsibility to conduct extensive sensitization and awareness campaigns regarding the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.
Revealing ongoing initiatives to engage Area Controllers from various formations, CGC Adeniyi outlined plans to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the Act among customs officials. He characterized the new Act as ‘User Friendly,’ emphasizing its provisions that foster trade facilitation in Nigeria.
The Customs Chief further highlighted the Act’s focus on deploying automation processes, the use of a single window, and an authorized economy operators’ system, incorporating Advanced Ruling, and expanding the use of scanners—a clear trajectory towards modernization.
In addressing the pressing issue of wildlife smuggling, CGC Adeniyi assured the assembled diplomats of his steadfast commitment to sustaining the battle against illicit wildlife trade in Nigeria. Emphasizing collaborative efforts with stakeholders, he specifically stressed the crucial role of international cooperation in customs activities.
The diplomats lauded the dedication of the NCS and pledged ongoing collaboration in combating wildlife trafficking and associated criminal activities. The dinner, attended by members of the Nigeria Customs Service’s Management Team, not only celebrated the conclusion of 2023 but also served as a robust platform for fostering collaboration and understanding between the NCS and the representatives of the international community.