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Acting Customs Chief urges NTFC to implement trade facilitation agreement strategically


Acting Customs Chief urges NTFC to implement trade facilitation agreement strategically

Story from Haruna YUSUF, Abuja

The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has called upon members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) to adopt a strategic approach in assessing the current status of the trade facilitation agreement’s implementation.

He urged them to make bold and decisive decisions aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s rankings across various indices.

The CG delivered this charge during the ongoing 2-day National stakeholders’ retreat on implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement in Nigeria, which took place in Lagos on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023.

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In his address, he highlighted several measures taken by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to advance its trade facilitation mission, including the automation of trade procedures.

He said, “Customs has raised the bar with the recent launch of the advanced ruling and the recent migration from fast track 2.0 to the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) system. ”

The AEO system, he explained, is a globally recognized program introduced by the World Customs Organization to both secure and expedite global trade.

The CG acknowledged the critical advisory role played by the NTFC in trade-related matters, stating, “A number of member countries of the WTO have made a very good use of this committee; this committee have played not only a very strong advisory role but has also built a very good report and role in all matters related to trade”, he said.

“We will identify such countries and, working with all our stakeholders, I will propose that we also have benchmarking visits to study best practices, to note what works in those places and what does not work and why our system can also measure up with what they’re doing,” he added.

The Customs Boss encouraged NTFC members to approach the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement with purposefulness.

He said: “I really want to charge us that we must be deliberate in our actions, we must be honest in reviewing our current state of play in the implementation of the trade facilitation agreement, and we must be ready to take very bold and courageous decisions to improve our rankings in various indexes,” he said.

“As we gather in this event, I encourage robust discussions and the sharing of innovative ideas that will contribute to the sustainable economic growth and development of Nigeria,” he concluded.

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