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Customs seeks collaboration with maritime industry to unlock potentials of AfCFTA

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Customs seeks collaboration with maritime industry to unlock potentials of AfCFTA

Story from Haruna YUSUF, Abuja

The Nigeria Customs Service has proposed a strategic partnership between the customs service and the maritime industry to tap into the extensive opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

During the 43rd Annual Council Meeting and 18th Roundtable of Managing Directors/Exhibition of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), held on Monday, November 6, 2023, in Lagos, the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, emphasized the importance of aligning customs operations with the objectives of AfCFTA.

The CGC highlighted that the AfCFTA’s objectives align closely with the eight-point agenda championed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

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These objectives aim to enhance economic transformation, stimulate intra-African trade, and foster sustainable economic growth.

Adeniyi stated, “These objectives closely resonate with the eight-point agenda championed by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” which focuses on key areas such as food security, poverty alleviation, economic growth, job creation, access to capital, security, ease of doing business, rule of law, and anti-corruption efforts.

The Comptroller General highlighted that Nigeria Customs has taken proactive steps to harmonize its operations with the goals of trade facilitation and improved port efficiency.

These measures include transforming Nigeria into Africa’s most efficient trading nation, addressing long-standing port congestion issues, and enforcing the Presidential Directive for the swift clearance of goods within 48 hours at seaports as per Executive Order 001.

Furthermore, the customs service is reshaping performance metrics for key government agencies to prioritize trade facilitation, implementing the National Single Window trading platform, and launching a comprehensive program to boost export development.

Highlighting the need for collaboration, the Customs Boss stressed that in this era of increased cooperation and interdependence, Customs and the maritime industry must work in synergy to ensure the success of these initiatives.

He underlined the interwoven relationship between the success of AfCFTA and the maritime industry, which plays a pivotal role in customs operations and the achievement of AfCFTA’s objectives.

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