The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi has announced a collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to elevate trade facilitation across the African continent.
The development, according to a press statement issued by the Customs National spokesman, Abdullahi Maiwada, was revealed on Monday during a meeting with AfCFTA members at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja.
Expressing concerns about the relatively low trade volume in Africa, Adeniyi emphasized the need to strike a balance between trade facilitation and revenue generation. He pointed out that Africa’s share in global trade remains at around 3 to 4 percent, with the African trade system showing limited growth over the last three to four years.
“We are not unmindful of the benefits that trade presents — economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation because Customs trade plays a role in fostering regional and international bonds,” stated CGC Adeniyi.
He conveyed his enthusiasm for the positive projections surrounding the African Continental Free Trade Area over the past decade. Describing the Guide Trade Initiative as crucial for the administration of countries and focusing on ways to grow their trade market, he emphasized the importance of collaboration in verifying goods’ origin at the port and working with other government agencies.
“I talk to you about the fact that we are projecting a 2 percent increase in the shower of rejecting over 1 million people out of poverty. And you know, more importantly, N450 billion GDP. So, this all sounds extremely promising,” he added.
Highlighting the measures taken by his administration to enhance trade facilitation in Nigeria, Adeniyi mentioned planning the implementation of a time-release study in the first quarter of the year and emphasized the need for investment in data analytics.
Corroborating on the importance of data analytics, the CGC said, “We must invest in data analytics, and we must bring all our officers up to speed on the basic elements or requirements for data analysis. Last December, we made this the subject of our Comptroller General’s conference — it was a very big occasion that attracted all our stakeholders, and they were all in accord with us that we need to do a bit more in data analysis.”
While speaking, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), His Excellency Wamkele Mene, congratulated the Customs boss on his appointment and expressed eagerness to address trade challenges in Africa collaboratively. Mene emphasized the importance of cooperation between AfCFTA and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to overcome trade impediments.
He conveyed optimism that the synergy between AfCFTA and NCS would significantly improve trade and revenue generation across various African countries. This partnership aims to streamline customs procedures, reduce trade barriers, and enhance the efficiency of cross-border trade.
He highlighted the importance of cooperation between AfCFTA and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in tackling trade impediments. He conveyed his excitement about jointly finding solutions to the issues affecting trade in Nigeria, emphasizing that AfCFTA is committed to collaborating with the NCS to enhance trade facilitation not only in Nigeria but across the African continent.
Speaking about the potential impact of their collaboration, Mr. Mene expressed optimism that the synergy between AfCFTA and NCS would significantly improve trade and revenue generation in various African countries, including but not limited to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Kenya. He underscored the strategic role that effective trade facilitation plays in fostering economic growth and development across the region.
AfCFTA, established to promote intra-African trade and economic integration, sees its partnership with NCS as a crucial step towards realizing its objectives. The collaboration aims to streamline customs procedures, reduce trade barriers, and enhance the efficiency of cross-border trade.