The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will be joining the global Customs community in the celebration of the International Customs Day on Friday, Jan. 26.
Its Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, made this known in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, the theme of the year’s celebration is: “Secure Business Environment for Economic Development’’.
Attah said that the celebration would take place at the Customs Staff College, Gwagwalada, FCT.
He said that the NCS would be inviting its stakeholders, partner government agencies and private organisations to celebrate the day.
“With particular focus on what Customs has done, is doing and will be doing to ensure the security of business environment for national economic development.
“During the course of the celebration, keeping with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) tradition, NCS will give awards to its stakeholders and partners both in government and private sectors.
“Those who have distinguished themselves in the area of creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive will be awarded the prestigious WCO certificate,’’Attah said.
He said that the objective of the celebration was what the NCS had been doing, saying that for some years now, Customs had increasingly automated its process.
“We (Customs) have a platform that ensures a seamless interface between relevant agencies and increasingly all those impediments to businesses are being removed.
Attah said that earlier in 2017, NCS collapsed its checkpoints, “where there used to be six or seven checkpoints, such places were collapsed into two checkpoints.”
“Under no circumstances, should there be a checkpoint that is after 40 km radius of the land borders.
“We have adopted and we have been using Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which ensures speed clearance; meaning that importers and their agents make appropriate declaration, documentation and finalise all processes before the arrival of the cargo,’’ he said.
According to him, the Service has been doing something like fast track, where importers with proven integrity are allowed to take their cargo straight to their premises where examination will be conducted with a view to collecting duty.
Attah said that the theme of this year’s celebration signified the importance of what the Service had been doing, saying that “It also tells us (Customs) that we are on the right track.
He promised that in 2018, Customs stakeholders would receive robust automation-driven services.
Attah recalled that few days ago, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Retired Col. Hameed Ali, inaugurated the renovated and re-equipped PAAR Ruling Centre.
He said that the implication of this year’s theme was that Customs would have to step up on what it was already doing to ensure physical security.
Attah said that Customs would ensure adequate national security and make the environment safe for the business of investors.
“Also creating enabling environment by easing the process of doing business.
“So, we hope to actively partner with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the office that is driving the ease of doing business projects.
“We will continue to participate actively to ensure that every impediments to businesses in Nigeria is removed, ‘’ he said.