The former President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr Eugene Nweke has charged the new crop of customs officers recently promoted by the service to ensure that the much expected Single Window platform comes into fruition.
Nweke in a press statement dated 27th of January, 2023 also said that cargo alerting system should be centralized at the port as it were at the inception of the Pre-arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) Regime.
While congratulating the officers, he urged them to see their promotion as further demand to patriotism and prompt services to the Father Land.
“It is not an overstatement, to posit that, your Promotion came at such a time, when Nations are still grappling with the post covid 19 pandemic challenges which placed so much pressure on the economic growth of nations, and Nigeria has equally grappling with its own share of the challenges, which includes, non firm monetary policies regulatory obligations, high cost of doing business at the port – promoting inflations, incidences of capital flight, drug and arms trafficking – leading to insecurity threats, influx of counterfeited products, trade facilitation challenges in the face of high non compliance level on the part of the trading public, higher yearly revenue generation targets ( quest of the government), etc, all resulting to hardship in the land.
“It is against the backdrop of myriads of challenges and the difficult times in the country, that I see your Promotion to serve our Father land in your respective senior management ranks as crucial and of no business as usual, hence, my resort to join industry stakeholders and well wishers to congratulate all of you, and doing so, to state some salient isssues of industry concerns, as thus:
a). Firstly, is to posit that , you are all star-studded and experienced officers in customs administration, as such much is expected, especially in the area of leveraging more on inter agency collaboration and strategic stakeholders engagements, deployment of technology driven initiatives in critical if not in all areas of cargo handling operations and trade administration, thus further the culture of trade facilitation.
b). Notwithstanding, the reason for emphasizing on these is because, on the part of stakeholders, it is of a great expectations and concerns that, inspites of the prevalence myriads of challenges within the Customs Ports, it is incumbent on all of you to technically, professionally and pragmatically find ways to turn the present difficulties, challenges, negative situations into a positive, productive one. It is an overstatement to say that, your actions and inactions in relation to the international trade and security supply chain has both direct and indirect impacts on the overlaboured Nigerians.
c). Internally, administrative strong will must be enhanced to engender political strong will. Certain operations or experimental tools with adhoc nature, that has over stayed its welcome, should be jettisoned forth with. With the SMART BODER CONCEPT, INSTALLATION OF RAPISCAN MOBILE SCANNERS AND THE DEPLOYMENT FORENSIC APPLICATION IN TRADE TREATMENT, it is a high time to free the cargo delivery corridor of undue bottlenecks and associated delays. I am quite confident that if we are committed in this regards, we can do and perform much better in facilitation of trade without compromising security and revenue objective. Some of you have better understanding, intents and the workings of systems audit in relation to manifest administration, hence, it suffices, that cargo alerting system should be centralized as it were at the inception of the PAAR Regime.
d). Also certain administrative policies that are in the neighborhood of counter productive, should be revisted with an attitude maximizing and achieving operational excellence. Going forward, it is believed that, under your tenure, the much canvased Single Window adoption and implementation should be taken to the next level for the interest of the nation.
“It is on this few note, that, I wish to once again say a big congratulations to all of you and pray the Almighty God to endue you all with strength wisdom in service and protection in all ramifications as you dedicate your self in service to our Father Land. Do have a successful tenure in office.