Col Hameed Ali Sets Nigeria Customs Service On Part of Trade Recovery, Beyond Revenue Collection
…As DC Ayo Shines At Tin Can Port
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Beyond revenue collection, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (rtd) has set the service on the part of trade recovery and trade facilitation so as to expedite flow of international trade by avoiding measures that can adversely impact international supply value chain.
Col Ali delivered a paper titled; Trade Recovery and Simulative Incentives: Nigeria Customs Service Perspective at the 14th Nigeria International Maritime Ports and Terminals Conference and Expo (NIMPORT 2021) held at Ikeja, Lagos on Monday
He said the Nigeria Customs is exploring the opportunity of the trade recovery to enhance the existing automation via Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS II) for cargo clearance.
Represented by Customs Area Controller, Tin Can Island Port, Compt Musa Abdullahi, the Customs CG said trade recovery is one of the conventions of the
World Customs Organization (WCO)
intended to facilitate and resume the international flow of goods in an efficient and timely manner, following the Covid-19 outbreak which resulted in major disruption of the movement of goods locally and internationally.
He assured that the customs is pursuing coordination with other
government regulatory agencies like NCDC, NAFDAC, SON, NSA, Port Health Authority, as well as with private businesses.
This coordination according to him is arising from the need to quickly recover from the disruptions in all sectors of the Nigerian economy, especially health, aviation
and educational sectors.
He said “Recent events occasioned by the global outbreak and the spread of Covid-19 virus has challenged our healthcare systems, disrupted and threatened lives and livelihood, thereby affecting our social and economic
“It caused one of the worst pandemic in recent history resulting
in total lockdowns and border closures with adverse disruptions to trade, necessitating the urgency for trade recovery.
“The extent of disruption and global economic downturn indicate that
trade demand could decline by 13% to 22%, already ocean and air freight to certain geographical location has risen by over 400%.
“To achieve trade recovery; NCS with core responsibility for trade
facilitation must expedite flow of international trade by avoiding measures that can adversely impact international supply value chain, while strengthening supply chain security as envisaged by the World Customs Organization (WCO) Safe Framework of Standards” he said
According to the customs CGC, as part of the trade recovery efforts, the Customs service implemented
the WCO trade recovery guidelines and tools through an stablished Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in consultation with relevant Government Agencies,
Businesses and other Stakeholders.
The service has equally established and maintained communication channels with other
government agencies involved in cargo clearance process such as NAFDAC, Port Health, SON, NDLEA.
Other efforts made by the service in trade recovery includes; established procedure and criteria for facilitating the movement of high priority cargo, for example, various medicaments,
medical and surgical equipment and tools sponsored by the National
Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“Established appropriate criteria for identification of high-risk
cargo and their nationalities.
“Deployment of appropriate technology for facilitating the
examination and clearance of priority cargo through Non-Intrusive
Inspection (NII) equipment such as scanners
“Expedited release of fast track and high priority cargo by the
removing of customs control.
“Nigeria Customs Service is embarking on digital transformation
e-customs as a means of further deepening the reform in line with
current realities and the new normal”
The Customs Service in recent times have however stamped its foot on the ground against unwholesome imports, especially Colorado Drugs, Canabis, arm and ammunition among others.
Aside the CG Ali and his Area Comptrollers, the customs service has a crop of officers who are dedicated to duty and absolutely loyal to the leadership of the command and the GCG in implementing extant laws.
Some of the seizures, DAILY TREND NEWS gathered emanated from the Tin Can Island Command, especially the Vehicle Seat at TICT Terminal, headed by Deputy Comptroller Ayo C.E.
She assumed duty at the command on the 1st of April, 2019, and since then, she has brought her wealth of experience to bare.
Through her no-nonsense stance, the service recently made seizures such as; 76 packages of Canabis in April 2021, seizure of 43 packages of Canabis Colorado.
Others are; detention of 2 units of Armoured Toyota Hulux pick ups 2020 and 2021 models, carton of Bardine Codeine together with Extra Strength drugs.
DC Ayo is a seasoned lawyer and technocrat, she is a product of the Command and Staff College, Gwadalada Abuja.
She made her mark while at the College and she has brought some of her experiences to bare at the Tin Can Port.
She has worked at B2, department at the command with a track record of total adherence to extant guidelines as provided by the CAC and by extension the CGC.
Our correspondent learnt that she sometimes give lectures to officers in her terminal, especially on Mondays just to put everybody on their toes.
Some of these achievements did not however go down well with some of the stakeholders, especially non-compliant clearing agents. Some of them result to denigrating her efforts.
Before now, Tin Can Port used to be a very volatile place, but because of the frameworks, part of which includes the Dispute Resolution Committee put in place by the Area Controller, Musa Abdullahi, it has doused tension at the command.